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  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default rob Peter to pay Paul

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    It is obvious that this was merely a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. There was no real clearing up of the outstanding debt. (Th= Dreiser, “The Financier”)

    rob Peter to play Paul = borrow from one to lend to other

    Thanks for your efforts.

    Regard,

    V

  2. #2
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    Default Re: rob Peter to pay Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    It is obvious that this was merely a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. There was no real clearing up of the outstanding debt. (Th= Dreiser, “The Financier”)

    Rob Peter to play pay Paul = borrow from one to lend to another

    Thanks for your efforts.

    Regard,

    V
    Yes.

  3. #3
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: rob Peter to pay Paul

    Hi emsr 2d2,

    I have the great pleasure to express my sincere appreciation for your well-judged amendments.

    Thank you for your kindness.

    V.

  4. #4
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    Tullia is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: rob Peter to pay Paul

    I'd like to offer a slight clarification to this.

    You are not borrowing from someone to lend money to someone else, but to pay off money you already owe to them.

    The idea is that, while you have cleared one debt you owe, because you borrowed money from elsewhere to do so, you are still as in debt as you were at the start; so you have achieved nothing.

    It's like taking out a new credit card to pay off the debt on one you already have.


    You could probably also use it where "Peter" and "Paul" were neither real people nor companies, but different "pots" of your own money, for instance using the money you have saved up to pay the electricity bill to pay the water rates - you will still need to find money from somewhere to pay the electricity bill when it arrives.
    Last edited by Tullia; 19-Aug-2010 at 11:41.

  5. #5
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: rob Peter to pay Paul

    Hi Tullia,

    I agree without reservation your clarification of the phrase in question.

    Thank you for your kindness.

    V.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: rob Peter to pay Paul

    Yes, you're absolutely right. In the majority of cases, you would be borrowing money in order to pay back a debt, rather than to lend it someone else. Good point.

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