without a pass to your name

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New Member
I'm translating a British movie and there is a scene where a teenager comes home and brings "E" grades in his report, so his mother tells him (ironically, of course) "Well done, kiddo. All set to leave school
without a pass to your name."
Does she mean that he will fail all the final exams, that is won't have a single "pass" in his final report?
  • DocPenfro

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Hello hirondelle82, and welcome to Wordreference

    You are almost correct. The teenager has presumably already taken and failed his exams ("E" grades), so yes: he is leaving school without a pass to his name.

    It is always helpful if you can quote the name and date of any source material. This is partly for copyright reasons, and also because the characteristics of language and social customs change over the years.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The idiom is 'without . . . to <someone's> name', and usually relates to (not having any) money: without a penny to your name.
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