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    #1

    hold one's potato

    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?

    Now let me beg of the gentlemen to hold his potato.

    hold one’s potato = take it easy, be patient

    Thanks for your efforts.

    Regard,

    V

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    #2

    Re: hold one's potato

    That's not an idiom in common use; can we have some context please?

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    #3

    Re: hold one's potato

    Hi Tullia,

    Thank you for your kindness.

    The sentence in question is from a long and boring Congressional Records, January 27, 1892. DAE)
    The key phrase was easy assimilated by my "knowledgeable" mind and now is quick in uptake in my everyday social life.

    Regards,

    V
    Last edited by vil; 24-Aug-2010 at 21:09.

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    #4

    Re: hold one's potato

    Well it's certainly not in common Br Eng usage. We would probably say "hold his horses" with that meaning. Perhaps an American user could comment on its use in the States?

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    #5

    Re: hold one's potato

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    The only meaning that I can get out of it has to do with a hot potato. A hot potato (an issue or a problem) is something that is passed from person to person since there is little chance of anyone making it work. I guess if someone was asked to hold his potato it might mean that he is being asked to not push the problem off onto another person.
    That sounds plausible. If so, then vil's interpretation would seem to be wrong, but without context (which means more than just mentioning a source) it's of course nigh on impossible for us to work that out.

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    #6

    Re: hold one's potato

    This is not a common American phrase.

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    #7

    Re: hold one's potato

    McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of Idioms:
    Hold your horses! and Hold your tater! Fig. Inf. Wait!
    Tom: Let’s go! Let’s go! Mary: Hold your horses. Hold
    your tater, now. Where did you say you are going?


    tater (slang) = potato

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    #8

    Re: hold one's potato

    Hi Joham,

    I’m very happy to feel your undivided and convincing support in corroboration of my interpretation of the phrase “hold one’s potato”. Now I’m parched with thirst to hear the twisting justifications from the great English experts.

    Thank you again for your empathy.

    Regards,

    V.

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    #9

    Re: hold one's potato

    I think you will find that it's McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Idioms that he is referring to. The difference is crucial.

    I will further note that you can find many words and idioms listed in dictionaries that are not in common usage anymore.

    You will of course note that I did in fact offer the Br Eng idiom used for that meaning already.

    I will comment again that you are expecting people to work miracles by providing us with hundred year old, no longer in common use idioms, yet failing every time to provide any form of meaningful context we could use to help you.

    Frankly, I am beginning to think your primary motivation in posting is to be as insulting and boastful as possible.

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    #10

    Re: hold one's potato

    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?

    Now let me beg of the gentlemen to hold his potato.

    hold one’s potato = take it easy, be patient

    Thanks for your efforts.

    Regard,

    V
    ********** NOT a teacher **********

    Hello, Vil.

    (1) Thank you for teaching me a new idiom.

    (2) I, of course, googled it and discovered an article from

    Never Enough Words by Mr. Jeffrey McQuain.

    (a) He says that it was, indeed, a 19th century

    expression meaning be patient.

    (b) He says that there used to be many potato expressions,

    including:

    Tell it to the potatoes. = expressing incredulity. (I guess that means

    something like: I do not believe that.)

    THANK YOU

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