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Thread: pass out

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    #1

    pass out

    Dear teachers,

    Today I read a medical article where met an vague and certainly overused expression.

    In a fake faint, the patient's description is very vague. They say they felt dizzy and fuzzy and thought they were going to 'pass out'. They might also say they felt a tightness in the chest and broke out in a profuse sweat. The alleged blackout may often have gone on for up to an hour. During a genuine faint there is an actual loss of consciousness because the brain is temporarily deprived of blood. The attack is usually very short and is often caused by some emotional upset, albeit a temporary one, or by fear.

    I know the following meanings of the idiom “pass out”:

    • Distribute, as in
    He passed out the papers.

    2. Also, pass out cold. Faint, as in
    When she heard the news she passed out cold.

    Also, out for the count; out like a light. Unconscious; also, asleep.
    For example, He crashed into the wall and was out cold, or
    Willie punched him too hard, and he was out for the count or
    Don't call Jane; she's out like a light by ten every night.

    The adjective cold refers to the lack of heat in a dead body and has been used to mean "unconscious". The first variant comes from boxing, where a fighter who is knocked down must get up before the referee counts to ten or be declared defeated; The last variant alludes to turning out a light.

    I couldn’t understand the random relation between “pass out” and “pass out cold” to say nothing of “out for the count” and “out like a light”.

    Would you be kind enough to elucidate the present misunderstanding?

    Thank you in advance for your efforts.

    Regards.

    V.


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    #2

    Re: pass out

    In the medical context as given, the only meaning is fainted, lost consciousness. It is clearly a quote from the patients who are using a natural and colloquial informal term.

    The term "pass out cold" extends the colloquialism to indicate complete loss of consciousness.

    Out for the count = boxers are counted out by the referee when knocked out in the ring.

    Out like a light = a colloquialism saying a person went to sleep very quickly - one minute they are awake, the next they are asleep. All very young animals do this.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
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      • Home Country:
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    #3

    Re: pass out

    Hi Anglika,

    Thank you for your eloquent explanation.

    Regards.

    V.

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