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  1. #1
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    Default You can't beat that with a stick?

    Hi, here's my question:
    When a salesman who is trying to sell something to you,
    he tells you that "you can't beat that with a stick",
    does it mean something like "it is impossible for you to say no"?
    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: You can't beat that with a stick?

    .
    It seems more like a cheap play on words.

    You can't beat that = you cannot find a better deal/bargain.

    With a stick is added to the phrase simply because beat also means to hit (with e.g. a stick)-- it contributes nothing to the salesman's meaning.
    .

  3. #3
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: You can't beat that with a stick?

    It's a common phrase in AE used to indicate how great or wonderful something is. Mister M's defintions are correct, but I disagree that "with a stick" adds nothing to the salesman's meaning. "You can't beat that!" means it's a great deal, you probably won't find a better bargain anywhere. "You can't beat that with a stick!" Wow, this is an incredible bargain, if you live to be a million, you'll never find anything better!

    Now, a salesman's job is to sell, obviously, so you can never tell how sincere he's being. However, if someone you know and trust uses that phrase, it means they've done their research and are certain it's a good deal. For example, my husband does most of our grocery shopping, so he is more familiar with prices at different stores in town. When he says, "Ground beef for 89 cents a pound? You can't beat that with a stick!" then I know that it is truly a good bargain.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: You can't beat that with a stick?

    Thank you both! Very clear explanations.

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