To stand up vs to bale on

fabsir

Senior Member
Português - Brasil
Hi everyone.
Just wanted to know if there is any difference in meaning between to stand up and to bale on as per the examples bellow:

1 - My boss was going to give me a lift but he baled on me so I´m still here;
2 - My boss was going to give me a lift but he stood me up so I´m still here.

Your help is much appreciated.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    These expressions are synonymous although I think more people would understand "stood up". If you want to use "to bail (out) on me", make sure to spell it right.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I find "he baled on me" decidedly odd and would not have understood it without the alternative sentence for comparison. I would have understood "baled out on me". owlman5's comment on the spelling is only valid for AE. The variant spelling "bale" is common in BE. The spellings may not be used consistently - I, for one, would use "bale out" in the sense of jumping out of an aeroplane (or the boss not picking you up), but "bail out" when scooping water out of a boat or rescuing somebody from a difficulty.
     

    TacoNight

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    For me, the difference is that when the boss stands you up, he agrees to give you a lift, but simply does not show up. You only find out by waiting long enough to realize the boss is not coming.

    When the boss bails on you, he agrees to give you a lift, but then calls you at the last minute or even arrives only to tell you that they won't give you a lift.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I'm sorry but the COED doesn't seem to offer the "bale" (bale of hay) spelling for "bail" (bail water from the boat). Can some more BrE speakers confirm andygc's statement?
     

    Robañero

    Senior Member
    American English
    I find "he baled on me" decidedly odd and would not have understood it without the alternative sentence for comparison. I would have understood "baled out on me". owlman5's comment on the spelling is only valid for AE. The variant spelling "bale" is common in BE. The spellings may not be used consistently - I, for one, would use "bale out" in the sense of jumping out of an aeroplane (or the boss not picking you up), but "bail out" when scooping water out of a boat or rescuing somebody from a difficulty.

    "He bailed on me" is simply a shortening of "he bailed out on me" and has come to replace the latter in the common parlance in America. It's commonly shortened even more to "Let's bail.." (Let's leave this place)

    I would add the comment that there could be a connotative difference in that "stood me up" often implies an expected formal date that never showed up, whereas "bailed on me" more often signifies a friend that was going to accompany you somewhere but left you to do it alone, or perhaps came for a few minutes and then "bailed" early.

    For instance, if a girl dressed up and went out to a restaurant where her blind date never showed up, she would likely not use the phrase "bailed on me".
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'm sorry but the COED doesn't seem to offer the "bale" (bale of hay) spelling for "bail" (bail water from the boat). Can some more BrE speakers confirm andygc's statement?
    COED 11th edition said:
    bale 3
    verb British variant spelling of bail 3.

    and

    bail 3 (British also bale)
    verb
    1 scoop water out of (a ship or boat).
    2 (bail out) make an emergency parachute descent from an aircraft.
    3 (bail someone/thing out) rescue someone or something from a difficulty.
     
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