trot out

danielxu85

Senior Member
Mandarin Chinese
'trot out' can mean 'display something'. I wonder if I could use it in this context:

The students are practicing conversations in a foreign language. I say to a pair: Erika and Andy, could you trot out your conversation? (meaning ~ would you be able to practice the conversation in public)

If the phrase can't be used in that context, how would you express the idea?

Thanks!
 
  • Waylink

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    I don't think it would be appropriate to use 'trot out' in this context. 'trot out' often has a denigrating implication, humorous, critical or condescending.

    For example:
    During the recent riots, the politicians trotted out their usual cliches.

    Perhaps the word you need is something like:
    Erika and Andy, are you confident about speaking in public?
     

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    1. "to trot out" often refers to speech. EDIT see comments below by other forum members

    2. It does not mean "to display". It means "to utter". ditto

    3. As Waylink says, it is deprecatory or belittling. It also implies repetition.


    Example

    Every time I meet him he trots out the same boring stuff about how many famous people he has met.
     
    Last edited:

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    Let's be fair to the original poster,

    "to trot out" can absolutely mean "to produce for show", or "to exhibit the paces of" (and does not exclusively mean to utter).


    That said, it does seem to be an expression in flux, and bound, at least in the short term, for a new semantic destination.


    As waylink said: "politicians trotted out their usual cliches" - clearly a feat of oratory, but nevertheless done for show.


    Even in Grubble's example: "Every time I meet him he trots out the same boring stuff about how many famous people he has met." - an explicit element of display.



    To daniel: I think it would be inapproprite to use the term "trot out" in your example, as it contains connotations of insincerity and unthinking repetition.



    why not try "to rehearse"?


    Erika and Andy, could you rehearse your conversation?
     
    Last edited:

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    'trot out' can mean 'display something'. I wonder if I could use it in this context:

    The students are practicing conversations in a foreign language. I say to a pair: Erika and Andy, could you trot out your conversation? (meaning ~ would you be able to practice the conversation in public)

    If the phrase can't be used in that context, how would you express the idea?

    Thanks!
    I am not too sure what you mean by "in public". To me that would mean that they go out into the street and converse. I think maybe you mean "in front of the class" or "so that we can all hear".

    Perhaps you could be more explicit about the exact scenario. Are they, for example, memorising a conversation or are they inventing it?
     

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    "to trot out" can absolutely mean "to produce for show", or "to exhibit the paces of" (and does not exclusively mean to utter).
    Hello Beryl :)

    Can you give an example that does not involve an utterance (apart of course from real trotting with real horses that takes place no doubt at the estimable Equestrian Centre near where you hail from).

    I'm guessing that "to trot out" in the horse world has a very specific meaning. Does it?

    Regards

    grubble
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Can you give an example that does not involve an utterance (apart of course from real trotting with real horses that takes place no doubt at the estimable Equestrian Centre near where you hail from).
    That's easy enough:
    Whenever we visit Mabel, she trots out the latest pictures of her grandchildren, and we have to hear all about them.
    Every time I introduce a new boyfriend to my parents, they always trot out the home movies to show him how cute I was when I was five years old.
    If you ask Aunt Constanza for tea, she doesn't just give you some in a crockery mug; instead she trots out her silver tea service and the good china, and makes a big production out of it.
     

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    That's easy enough:
    Whenever we visit Mabel, she trots out the latest pictures of her grandchildren, and we have to hear all about them.
    Every time I introduce a new boyfriend to my parents, they always trot out the home movies to show him how cute I was when I was five years old.
    If you ask Aunt Constanza for tea, she doesn't just give you some in a crockery mug; instead she trots out her silver tea service and the good china, and makes a big production out of it.
    Good examples. So clearly, in these cases "to display" is a good synonym for "to trot".
     
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