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    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #1

    They haven't toed the mark yet

    Hello everyone,
    I'm trying to find out the meaning of 'they haven't toed the mark yet.'
    Context: a conversation between two women. One of them is complaining about men. The other says: they're not all bad, and she names a few good men. Then the first woman replies: 'they haven't toed the mark yet.'
    Could anyone please describe the possible meaning of this?
    Thank you!
    Kind regards,

    Coenraedt

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    #2

    Re: They haven't toed the mark yet

    It means not "conforming to some rule or standard." To toe the line, or toe the mark probably comes from an event where men were required to line up with their toes on a line or mark on the floor.


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    #3

    Re: They haven't toed the mark yet

    Thank you mykwyner,
    I'm trying to find a Dutch equivalent of this saying. Is it correct to rephrase it like this: they are the exceptional to the rule so far?

    Kind regards,
    Coenraedt


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #4

    Re: They haven't toed the mark yet

    No, it's not that they are exceptions to a rule, but that these men have not yet conformed to or reached the standard (of behaviour or consideration) that the women are setting.

  1. curmudgeon's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: They haven't toed the mark yet

    Another way of saying it is... 'they haven't come up to scratch yet'. Scratch here means a line as in a race where the competitors line up or toe the line.

    If your not 'up to scratch' then you are not yet ready, or not good enough. to proceed.

  2. Miner49'er's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: They haven't toed the mark yet

    Hallo Coenraedt

    I would translate it as:

    "Zij voldoen nog niet aan alle vereisten"


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    #7

    Re: They haven't toed the mark yet

    Thank you Anglika, Curmudgeon and Miner'49,
    I find it very interesting, discussing this. The comparison with 'come up to scratch' has helped me a lot, I think. I'm considering a translation like this:
    'They haven't been taken to the test' (for Miner'49: 'ze zijn nog niet op de proef gesteld').
    Do you agree with that?

    Kind regards
    Coenraedt

  3. Miner49'er's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: They haven't toed the mark yet

    I would translate it as;

    They haven't been tested yet.

    But I think what you wrote is OK too. Teachers will judge.

  4. Miner49'er's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: They haven't toed the mark yet

    Coenraeth, may I give you a tip?

    If you are not sure about a sentence, go to Google advanced search and type your sentence in the "with the exact phrase" box.

    If it is good English Google will come up with a lot of matches, if not.... it will find nothing.

    Last edited by Miner49'er; 04-Jan-2007 at 20:56.


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    #10

    Re: They haven't toed the mark yet

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    It means not "conforming to some rule or standard." To toe the line, or toe the mark probably comes from an event where men were required to line up with their toes on a line or mark on the floor.
    Could I also say here something like: "they (these men) don't pass muster...." or "they don't fit the bill....". IMHO, these two idioms do refer to "meeting certain requirements/standards", or?

    Your clarifications on these would be very thankful!

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