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  1. #1
    Olenek's Avatar
    Olenek is offline Junior Member
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    Default Idioms meaning "to attempt to gain a friend, lover, etc."

    Hi,

    There are some idioms meaning to entice someone:

    To make a dead set at someone;
    To set one’s cap at/ for someone;
    To make a play for a person.

    Are they heard/ used in your country?
    Or do you use other phrases with the same sense?

    Many thanks for all your replies!

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Idioms meaning "to attempt to gain a friend, lover, etc."

    Set your cap may be a little old-fashioned in the UK.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Idioms meaning "to attempt to gain a friend, lover, etc."

    I've heard only "to make a play for" used in AmE. I think it might be a little outdated.

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    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Idioms meaning "to attempt to gain a friend, lover, etc."

    Never heard any of them and have no idea what they mean.

    What are these idioms supposed to mean? To pick someone up or hit on them?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Idioms meaning "to attempt to gain a friend, lover, etc."

    Make a play sounds a little familiar... maybe related to player or playing the field but it isn't common. I've never heard of the rest.

    trying to entice someone?

    to hit on someone
    make a (my) move... (but this may not be as popular anymore I know it mainly from 80's movies)

    You would use these idioms in reference to someone who you are sexually attracted to.

    Not a teacher.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Idioms meaning "to attempt to gain a friend, lover, etc."

    My opinion:

    make a dead set at someone: romance/marriage and/or sex.
    set one’s cap at/ for someone: mainly romance/marriage; old-fashioned.
    To make a play for a person: mainly sex/short-term romance.
    hit on someone: mainly sex.
    make a (my) move... : I've not heard this one.
    come on to someone: mainly sex/short-term romance.
    try to get off with: sex.

    However, it depends on who says them, and in what contexts.

  7. #7
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Idioms meaning "to attempt to gain a friend, lover, etc."

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    My opinion:

    make a dead set at someone: romance/marriage and/or sex.
    set one’s cap at/ for someone: mainly romance/marriage; old-fashioned.
    To make a play for a person: mainly sex/short-term romance.
    hit on someone: mainly sex.
    make a (my) move... : I've not heard this one.
    come on to someone: mainly sex/short-term romance.
    try to get off with: sex.

    However, it depends on who says them, and in what contexts.
    I don't think people of my generation or younger distinguish between sex and romance in this way or maybe it's just me. You pick someone up because you find them attractive.

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Idioms meaning "to attempt to gain a friend, lover, etc."

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    I don't think people of my generation or younger distinguish between sex and romance in this way or maybe it's just me. You pick someone up because you find them attractive.
    Or unattractive, if you're hard up.

    At least, that's what I hear from the younger generation.

  9. #9
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Idioms meaning "to attempt to gain a friend, lover, etc."

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Or unattractive, if you're hard up.
    I believe the word for that is "solicitation". Not that I'd know anything about that.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Idioms meaning "to attempt to gain a friend, lover, etc."

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Or unattractive, if you're hard up.

    At least, that's what I hear from the younger generation.

    I don't think this only applies to the younger generation!


    Not a teacher.

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