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    #1

    ride the gravy train

    Dear teachers,

    Would you tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    Of course, Mort and I started riding the gravy train from then on. They paid us five thousand bucks to put the deal across. (Gardner’s “The D.A. Draws a Circle”)

    ride the gravy train = strike oil, get the plum, become an unlawful income

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V

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    #2

    Re: ride the gravy train

    to earn a lot of money without working hard
    to earn a large profit with very little investment
    to profit greatly from one's position

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    #3

    Re: ride the gravy train

    Hope you don't mind my pointing this out, Vil, but I think you meant receive an unlawful income.

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    #4

    Re: ride the gravy train

    “Hope you don't mind my pointing this out, Vil, but I think you meant receive an unlawful income.”


    Hi fivejedion,

    To the contrary, I am enormously in your debt for your kindness.

    Thank you for your surgical interference. So you prevented the usage of a wrong collocation “becomes income”. You are right; I have to be more regardful of the usage of the proper lexical collocations. I liked your “to receive an unlawful income” but in my humble opinion it will not any the worse my alternative “to earn my income through illegitimate business transactions”.

    Thank you again for your backing.

    V.

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    #5

    Re: ride the gravy train

    Hi Gillnetter,

    Thank you for your explanation of the expression in question. I shouldn’t cast suspicion on the yours and DRThomas’ unanimous statement that the key expression concerns only the earning of lot money by legitimate manner but without hard work, but I can at least try to say you that we are split on the question. I am firm believe that the expression concerns also the “earning of unlawful money”, “taking bribes” ,”rob money of their owners” etc.

    You would be right if there were in Google only the following three examples:

    Example 1: Those who have a wealthy executive or heir to a fortune for a spouse can ride the gravy train without doing any work.
    Example 2: If I had a million dollars, I sure could ride the gravy train.
    Example 3: I wouldn’t like loafing. I don’t want to ride the gravy train.

    But you are not right because there are other examples: substantiating my widened interpretation.


    He had been able to ride the gravy train and make a lot of money selling drugs before he was arrested.

    ride the gravy train = a gorging on luxuries, since someone else foots the bill.

    Eurocrats ride the gravy train.

    Levrage yourself tonight and ride the gravy train.

    Long-running attempts to clean up the European parliament’s notorious ‘gravy train’ image were skuppered yesterday when EU governments blocked a new pay and perks package for MEPs.

    Johnston claims that Reuben Nelson and another tall negro were in New Haven the night of the escape and that they broke into the lockup. Johnson further states that the next day Kelson laughingly told him that the New Haven lockup was ‘a gravy train.

    Call to end 'gravy train' for current ministers...serving politicians are a "gravy train" the country can no longer...politicians right across the board are pocketing hundreds...the world. It's a "gravy train" ..

    . It's about a gravy train of municipal funds in...bribe, the mayor comes on board and agrees to put pressure...desperate to get off the gravy train. He's the exception...some distance from the gravy ...

    to ride the gravy train = raking in the money, get more than they deserve

    V.

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