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  1. #1
    Olenek's Avatar
    Olenek is offline Junior Member
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    Default idioms meaning "to avoid"

    Hi everybody,

    I've found some phrases with the sense "to avoid, to keep away from":

    To give someone a wide berth ;
    To keep/ stay/ steer clear of someone;
    To keep out of someone’s way;
    To run a mile from someone.

    Are these phrases common in your country?

    Or do you use other phrases with the same sense?

    Thanks for all your replies!

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: idioms meaning "to avoid"

    Quote Originally Posted by Olenek View Post
    I've found some phrases with the sense "to avoid, to keep away from":

    To give someone a wide berth ;
    To keep/ stay/ steer clear of someone;
    To keep out of someone’s way;
    To run a mile from someone.

    Are these phrases common in your country?
    I hear/use the first three. I have heard the fourth, but I don't think it's very common.

    ps. Until my silly mistake was pointed out, I had written 'third' where the underlined 'fourth, now is. Sorry if this caused confusion.
    Last edited by 5jj; 27-Apr-2011 at 14:13. Reason: Blunder corrected.

  3. #3
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: idioms meaning "to avoid"

    Quote Originally Posted by Olenek View Post
    Hi everybody,

    I've found some phrases with the sense "to avoid, to keep away from":

    To give someone a wide berth ;
    To keep/ stay/ steer clear of someone;
    To keep out of someone’s way;
    To run a mile from someone.

    Are these phrases common in your country?

    Or do you use other phrases with the same sense?

    Thanks for all your replies!
    I'd use 2 or 3 (with stay, not with keep). Usually I'd just say "stay away from".

    "I try to stay away from her as far as possible."

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: idioms meaning "to avoid"

    "I wouldn't come within 'cooee' of him." A 'cooee' is an Australian outback call like a yodel.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7xYn1OTUUg&feature=related

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: idioms meaning "to avoid"

    So unlike the home life of our own dear Queen.

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: idioms meaning "to avoid"

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I hear/use the first three. I have heard the third, but I don't think it's very common.
    [fourth?] In fact, I've heard 'run a mile' used, but normally with no 'from-object'. For example 'If any woman mentions settling down, he runs a mile'.

    Also if you wouldn't go near something (foul/foetid/dirty/tainted...) you 'wouldn't touch it with a bargepole'. Bargepoles are not a very common feature of modern life (though I have used one, many moons ago), but the expression is still used.

    b

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: idioms meaning "to avoid"

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    [fourth?]
    Thanks. I've changed it.

  8. #8
    Olenek's Avatar
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    Default Re: idioms meaning "to avoid"

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post

    Also if you wouldn't go near something (foul/foetid/dirty/tainted...) you 'wouldn't touch it with a bargepole'. Bargepoles are not a very common feature of modern life (though I have used one, many moons ago), but the expression is still used.
    Can we use the phrase referred to a person (for example, we don't like someone very much)?

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: idioms meaning "to avoid"

    Quote Originally Posted by Olenek View Post
    Can we use the phrase referred to a person (for example, we don't like someone very much)?
    Yes, but it's quite extreme - so I wouldn't say it fits if you just 'don't like someone very much'. You have to loathe them, or despise them intensely.

    b

  10. #10
    Mr_Ben's Avatar
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    Default Re: idioms meaning "to avoid"

    It also connotes (a lack of) physical attraction. Why else would you be touching someone with something?

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