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    #1

    From The Catcher in The Rye...

    From The Catcher in The Rye:

    "He was always saying, 'Try this for size,' and then he'd goose the hell out of you while you were going down the corridor. And whenever he wet to the can, he always left the gooddam door open and talked to you while you were brushing your teeth or something. That stuff's sort of flitty."

    What do "Try this for size", "goose the hell out of you" and "the can" mean in this context?

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: From The Catcher in The Rye...

    Try this (on) for size means to consider something, think about something; e.g., an idea, an argument.

    To goose someone means to startle someone by poking, prodding, or pinching that person between or on the buttocks
    goose - Definitions from Dictionary.com

    Can is a slang for toilet; i.e., whenever he went to the toilet.

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: From The Catcher in The Rye...

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post

    Can is a slang for toilet; i.e., whenever he went to the toilet.

    This takes me back to when I was a youngster...the first time I ever heard the word "can" used to mean the bathroom was on a Cheech and Chong record that was popular on the radio at the time. My mom thought that that slang term was horrible, so of course we drove her nuts by always saying "I gotta go to the can, man."

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    #4

    Re: From The Catcher in The Rye...

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    Try this (on) for size means to consider something, think about something; e.g., an idea, an argument.

    To goose someone means to startle someone by poking, prodding, or pinching that person between or on the buttocks
    goose - Definitions from Dictionary.com

    Can is a slang for toilet; i.e., whenever he went to the toilet.
    Oh, we did the same thing as children. It was called "kancho", which means enema in Japanese.


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    #5

    Re: From The Catcher in The Rye...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    This takes me back to when I was a youngster...the first time I ever heard the word "can" used to mean the bathroom was on a Cheech and Chong record that was popular on the radio at the time. My mom thought that that slang term was horrible, so of course we drove her nuts by always saying "I gotta go to the can, man."
    Hi Ouisch, what does "drove her nuts" mean?

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    #6

    Re: From The Catcher in The Rye...

    Quote Originally Posted by mochimochi View Post
    Oh, we did the same thing as children. It was called "kancho", which means enema in Japanese.
    They still do it today!

    You mean, kancho is to goose someone, right?

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    #7

    Re: From The Catcher in The Rye...

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    They still do it today!

    You mean, kancho is to goose someone, right?
    Yes, we did it cying "Kan-Cho!"

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: From The Catcher in The Rye...

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    Try this (on) for size means to consider something, think about something; e.g., an idea, an argument.

    ...
    That expression used to seem to me a bit odd, until a shop assistant in a clothes shop said it to me - handing me a jacket in a colour that I had told him I didn't like. He meant that he thought it might fit me, and that once he had established my size he could help me choose something I really wanted.

    b

  5. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: From The Catcher in The Rye...

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    That expression used to seem to me a bit odd, until a shop assistant in a clothes shop said it to me - handing me a jacket in a colour that I had told him I didn't like. He meant that he thought it might fit me, and that once he had established my size he could help me choose something I really wanted.

    b
    In AmE, this phrase can be used to present an abstract idea. Even though a tailor might hand a customer a jacket and say "try this on for size," meaning "let's see if this fits," we also might say to our friends, "try this on for size - suppose my sister calls the school and pretends to be my mom and says that we've all got the stomach flu?" when some school students are trying to figure out a way to get out of school. It's a way of presenting an idea or theory for everyone else to digest and agree or disagree to.

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    #10

    Re: From The Catcher in The Rye...

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    That expression used to seem to me a bit odd, until a shop assistant in a clothes shop said it to me - handing me a jacket in a colour that I had told him I didn't like. He meant that he thought it might fit me, and that once he had established my size he could help me choose something I really wanted.

    b
    In other words, it has a literal meaning and a figurative meaning:

    Literal: Try this jacket on for size and let's see if it fits you.
    Figurative: Try this (concept) on for size and let's see if you like it.


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