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    #1

    All bets are off

    The explanation given is too literal.

    I understand/use this idiom in Australian english to mean

    'We don't know what will happen next'

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: All bets are off

    Quote Originally Posted by collinsl View Post
    The explanation given is too literal.

    I understand/use this idiom in Australian english to mean

    'We don't know what will happen next'

    I assume you're talking about All bets are off - Idiom Definition - UsingEnglish.com (This is a big site, and it helps if you make your criticisms precise.)

    My (UK) understanding of this idiom is the same as the one described there as 'US'. But this site is about all varieties of English. If the meaning you've given is normal in Australian English, I think we should say so - I don't think we should just dilute the meaning already given.

    b

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: All bets are off

    Quote Originally Posted by collinsl View Post
    The explanation given is too literal.

    I understand/use this idiom in Australian english to mean

    'We don't know what will happen next'
    Well, that's very close. To be more exact, it means that the situation has changed to make the outcome uncertain: We expected her to marry the banker. But now that his bank has lost all its money, all bets are off.

    [I edit copy and have tutored college writing.]

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