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  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    can (v) = imprison

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence from Steinbeck’s ”Of Mice and Men”?

    He'd slough me. He just don't give a damn. Won't ever get canned because his old man's the boss.

    can (n) = prison
    can (v) = imprison

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  2. #2
    LiuJing is offline Member
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    Re: can (v) = imprison

    I am not a teacher. However, 'get canned' here seems to mean 'get fired' or 'lose his job'.

  3. #3
    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: can (v) = imprison

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence from Steinbeck’s ”Of Mice and Men”?

    He'd slough me. He just don't give a damn. Won't ever get canned because his old man's the boss.

    can (n) = prison
    can (v) = imprison

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    Yes, as a noun ‘can’ has several meanings such as ‘prison’, ‘container’, ‘toilet’ etc but I don't think, you can use it as verb by referring to one of them. According to dictionary, its verbal meaning is: to dismiss; to fire, which looks appropriate here.

  4. #4
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Re: can (v) = imprison

    Hi LuiJang and sarat106,

    Thank you for your contribution. I agree with your statement concerning the meaning of the phrase get canned = Get the boot, get the axe, canned, terminated, dismissed, laid-off, ...There are many examples of the suchlike usage in common English.

    And yet, there is in my dictionary (Bulgarian-English Dictionary-1975) the following entry:
    imprison = mew up = wall in = can (American slang)

    I am addicted of unaccustomed usage of the words. Sometimes out of place.

    Thank you again for your kindness.

    Regards,

    V.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: can (v) = imprison

    In BrE we can use bin in the same way- He got binned = He was sacked, They binned him, etc.

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