Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    beeja is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Thai
      • Home Country:
      • Thailand
      • Current Location:
      • Thailand
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    272
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default beat the brains out

    Hello there,

    The context is:

    I was reading in a book on the Sandwich Island about an old Fejee man who had been carried away among foreigners but who prayed prayed he might be brought home so that his brains might be beaten out in peace by his son, according to the custom of those lands. Our sons beat out their fathers' brains very regularly.

    I really don't understand the above context. From the dictionary, beat one's brain is to try to figure out the puzzle but it seems that we beat our own brain to fix something, but here is to beat somebody's brain (and in peace), what does it exactly mean? Pls help clarify.

    Thank you!!

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    19,448
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: beat the brains out

    It is literal - The sons killed their fathers by beating their heads.

    This looks like an extract from a very old book!

  3. #3
    vil is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: beat the brains out

    I beg your pardon but I found the following idioms:

    1. beat your brains out = to spend a lot of time worrying about a problem and thinking about how to deal with it.

    I have been beating my brains out trying to think of a way of getting the money to her in time.

    2. beat someone brains out =

    a) too severely criticize someone

    How could I win the election with that guy in the radio beating my brains out every day?

    b) too seriously hurt someone

    I was afraid he was going to come back and beat my brains out.

    I put o.'s trust in those idioms. You could use them. You should beat your brains out.
    Last edited by vil; 27-Sep-2007 at 23:04.

  4. #4
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    19,448
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: beat the brains out

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    I beg your pardon but I found the following idioms:

    1. beat your brains out = to spend a lot of time worrying about a problem and thinking about how to deal with it.

    I have been beating my brains out trying to think of a way of getting the money to her in time.

    2. beat someone brains out =

    a) too severely criticize someone

    How could I win the election with that guy in the radio beating my brains out every day?

    b) too seriously hurt someone

    I was afraid he was going to come back and beat my brains out.

    I put o.'s trust in those idioms. You could use them. You should beat your brains out.
    All good examples of an idiom. However, in the context of the passage, none are actually applicable. The Sandwich Islanders used to have some odd and nasty ways of doing things.

  5. #5
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,155
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: beat the brains out

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    I beg your pardon but I found the following idioms:

    1. beat your brains out = to spend a lot of time worrying about a problem and thinking about how to deal with it.

    I have been beating my brains out trying to think of a way of getting the money to her in time.

    2. beat someone brains out =

    a) too severely criticize someone

    How could I win the election with that guy in the radio beating my brains out every day?

    b) too seriously hurt someone

    I was afraid he was going to come back and beat my brains out.

    I put o.'s trust in those idioms. You could use them. You should beat your brains out.
    Sorry Vil...sometimes a phrase that looks like an idiom is in fact meant to be taken literally. I agree with Anglika that in this case the words are to be taken literally.

  6. #6
    vil is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: beat the brains out

    Dear nature English speakers, I must admit your statements. I couldn't challenge your supremacy. Sorry.

    NewsHour Extra: Sports Rage - July 30, 2001

    When you find time to read this you can see what is literal meaning of the phrase "beat the brains out"

    Sorry again.

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 28-Sep-2007 at 07:42.

  7. #7
    beeja is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Thai
      • Home Country:
      • Thailand
      • Current Location:
      • Thailand
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    272
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: beat the brains out

    Thanks everyone for your help.

    For the fejee man, I quite agree with Anglika 'coz the sandwich island should have some kinda "weird and wild" culture. but I also agree with Vil that the idiom can be applied to the last sentence "Our sons beat out their fathers' brains very regularly.", it is possible that the sons (everywhere in the world) may hurt their feeling of their fathers or criticize them. Agree??

    beeja



  8. #8
    vil is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: beat the brains out

    Thank you, Beeja, for your seconding. I think you are a shrewd person.

    Regarding to your "estimation" of Sandwich Island's inhabitants, I should recommend you to read the above article.

    I think, we ended this game in draw.

    Maybe I make the air blue. Excuse me for my overweening fiddlesticks.

    V.

Similar Threads

  1. Beat
    By acdcfan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-Mar-2007, 05:28
  2. pea brains ??
    By wml in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-Oct-2006, 20:22
  3. to win or to beat
    By Aunty_anita in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Dec-2005, 04:04
  4. I'm not on a beat
    By FromRu in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 20-Nov-2005, 07:59
  5. beat me
    By whl626 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-Mar-2004, 00:46

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk