to tank the game

dec-sev

Senior Member
Russian
Hello.
This is from the German forum:

What is the German phrase for losing on purpose?

The English slang term is "to tank" I'm looking for the German equivalent.
This is from my dictionary:
The coach got wind of a plan to tank Friday's game
This as also from that thread on the German forum:
I googled "tanked at the box office" and got 40,000+ hits. Since no one would intentionally make a film that loses money, I think that this proves my point that "to tank" means simply "to fail miserably."
What does actually “to tank the game” mean? Can it mean both, “to lose on purpose” and "to fail miserably"?
 
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    In colloquial AE, the word has more than one meaning. To tank is to fail, to go down the tank. That is the sense of the example "tanked at the box office". The play or movie did badly, attracted relatively few patrons. To tank a game is a special case, in which one or more players intentionally play badly, in an attempt to make their team lose.

    The Provendential Prescriptivists tanked, and badly.

    That would normally mean that they lost by a large margin. It does not, by itself, imply that they intended or attempted to lose.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    In colloquial AE, the word has more than one meaning.
    And conversely in British English none (that I am aware of):). On reading "the film tanked at the box office" I wouldn't have known whether this meant that it did really well or really badly.
     

    dec-sev

    Senior Member
    Russian
    @cuchuflete:So the phrase "The Provendential Prescriptivists tanked." can mean both, they played very badly and lost the game and they intentionally played badly in order to lose the game. Correct?
    I don´t quite understand "... and badly" in your example. The word "tank" itself implies that they played badly. Or did I misunderstand something?
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    So the phrase "The Provendential Prescriptivists tanked." can mean both, they played very badly and lost the game and they intentionally played badly in order to lose the game. Correct?
    I don´t quite understand "... and badly" in your example. The word "tank" itself implies that they played badly. Or did I misunderstood something?
    Answering your second point - given that "to tank" has the "to fail badly" meaning then yes to say "they tanked - and badly" is a little tautological but not terribly so I'd say. It means they did really really badly!:)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top