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    #1

    Question Idiom

    Hi all,
    Would you anyone please tell me what this idiom means?

    'I can't do anything for toffee nowadays!I've passed my self-by date!'

    Thanks a lot.

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    #2

    Re: Idiom

    The phrase "to pass its sell-by date" refers to perishable goods in a shop. It indicates the latest date when the item is still suitable for sale.

    If a person says "I'm past my sell-by date" he means that he is getting old.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Idiom

    Quote Originally Posted by Radman View Post
    Hi all,
    Would you anyone please tell me what this idiom means?

    'I can't do anything for toffee nowadays!I've passed my self-by date!'

    Thanks a lot.
    I suggest that it should read "sell-by date" (not self-by). The sell-by date is the date stamped on food and drink by a shop, advising the date by which the item should either be sold or thrown away, because after the date the item is deemed to have deterioriated so much that it's not good for anything.

    If someone is past (or has passed) their sell-by date, then they are past their best.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Idiom

    What about the "for toffee" part?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #5

    Re: Idiom

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    What about the "for toffee" part?
    "If you can't so something for toffee, you are incapable of doing something properly or to any sort of standard."

    Source:
    Can't do it for toffee - Idiom Definition - UsingEnglish.com

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Idiom

    Thanks. Is this in current BrE usage? Never heard that one on this side of the pond.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #7

    Re: Idiom

    It is still used occasionally in the UK.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Idiom

    I use "can't (verb) for toffee" all the time!! It's very common in southern England at least.

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Idiom

    Thanks. A new one for me.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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