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  1. #1
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default The shoe could be on the other foot

    I was watching The Office (UK) and this but of dialogue came up:

    Gareth (to Tim): You're all smug now. You're moving away (= leaving his job). But think of me.The shoe could be on the other foot.
    Tim and Gareth were collegues. According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, this expression means:

    6 the boot is on the other foot British English used to say someone who has caused problems for other people in the past is now in a situation in which people are causing problems for them
    However, I though that Gareth meant by the shoe could be on the other foot that Tim could be in the same position as him.

    Can someone tell me what this expression exactly means? Thanks.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 10-Dec-2011 at 11:33.

  2. #2
    iKitty is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: The shoe could be on the other foot

    NOT A TEACHER

    I haven't come across the meaning of causing trouble before. My understanding has always been that the second person could find themselves in the same position as the first, as you say, CS.

    I'd be interested to hear what other native speakers understand by it.

  3. #3
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    Default Re: The shoe could be on the other foot

    OK, thanks. In the dictionary theyre talking about a boot, not a shoe, though I though that was meant to be the same thing.

    Anyone else care to comment?

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: The shoe could be on the other foot

    I haven't watched the series, but is it possible that Tim resents being subordinate to Gareth but he's moving to a job where his subordinates will resent him? (You're right about 'boot' and 'shoe' being effectively interchangeable here.)

    b

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