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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Take the shine off his shoes

    What is the meaning for the expression: "Take the shine off his shoes"?

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    #2

    Re: Take the shine off his shoes

    *Not a teacher

    Definition:

    take the shine off something = if something that happens takes the shine off something pleasant, it spoils it or makes it less enjoyable

    Example: Having my purse stolen took the shine off my visit to Dublin.

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    #3

    Re: Take the shine off his shoes

    What's the whole context? It's unclear what importance the shoes have and how the idiom defined above and the shoes come together.

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    #4

    Re: Take the shine off his shoes

    Thank you very much for your post. But I think some how it has different meaning. It is something related to pride, arrogance. But I don't know what exactelly it is. But thanks anyway.

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    #5

    Re: Take the shine off his shoes

    Quote Originally Posted by lerish View Post
    Thank you very much for your post. But I think some how it has different meaning. It is something related to pride, arrogance. But I don't know what exactelly it is. But thanks anyway.
    It possibly means a similar thing to such expressions as:

    That will knock the smile (or smug look) off his face.
    That will bring him down a peg/notch or two.
    That will put him in his place.

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    #6

    Re: Take the shine off his shoes

    Dear Tdol, this is an expression I heard in England and the shoes come within it. There is one song by Dire Straits called "News" that uses this expression. I have a slight clue what it is about (someones pride), but I'm not sure about that and I would like to know the real meaning of it.

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    #7

    Re: Take the shine off his shoes

    Quote Originally Posted by lerish View Post
    There is one song by Dire Straits called "News" that uses this expression. I have a slight clue what it is about (someones pride), but I'm not sure about that and I would like to know the real meaning of it.
    It is not clear, to me at least, exactly what is meant here:

    He sticks to his guns
    He take the road as it comes
    It take the shine off his shoes
    He says it's a shame
    You know it may be a game
    Ah but I won't play to lose



    Performed by Dire Straits,
    Written by Mark Knopfler.

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    #8

    Re: Take the shine off his shoes

    Quote Originally Posted by lerish View Post
    Dear Tdol, this is an expression I heard in England and the shoes come within it. There is one song by Dire Straits called "News" that uses this expression. I have a slight clue what it is about (someones pride), but I'm not sure about that and I would like to know the real meaning of it.
    I've never heard the expression. I agree with fivejedjon that it could mean the same as his suggestions in post #5.

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    #9

    Re: Take the shine off his shoes

    Quote Originally Posted by lerish View Post
    I have a slight clue what it is about (someones pride), but I'm not sure about that and I would like to know the real meaning of it.
    I don't have a clue either, but check these:

    Popular Mechanics - Oct 2000 - Page 64:
    Before every game, umpires rub up five dozen brand-new balls with a specific mud from the Delaware River to take the shine off.

    Delivering the goods: education as cargo in Papua New Guinea - Page 100
    :
    White men, too, might take the shine off the apple, jealous of their threatened monopoly;

    Form and fable in American fiction - Page 55
    :

    If I don't take the shine off the Sea Serpent, when I get back to Boston, then my name's not Sam Patch.

    The Count of Monte Cristo: Part 1:

    If he had only a comb and hair-grease, he'd take the shine off the gentlemen in white kids.

    Behind the burnt cork mask: early blackface minstrelsy and ... - Page 10:

    ... and their performances were designed to "beat Ole Bull from de Norway" and " take the shine off Paganini.

    The Pioneers - Page 132:
    The fact that Jesse was missing didn't take the shine off her excitement.

    Ideas and variations: essays, satire, criticism, 1973-76 - Page 107:
    ... Copernican theory by a thousand years and had the guts to take the shine off many an Indian sacred cow — the eclipse-causing Rahu among them —

    Myth and identity in the epic of imperial Spain - Page 35:
    For Ercilla, these are the "inhumane deeds that take the shine off the grand Spanish victory"

    'Way down East: or, Portraitures of Yankee life - Page 344:
    "Well," replied Patty, " if she'll only take the shine off Susan Jones when she goes to meetin', Sunday, I sha'nt care."

    My comprehension is that one variant is related not to pride but rather to superiority over others, "to shadow them", "to be brighter than".

    It seems that phrase is a popular one: 0.000000200+%
    Google Ngram Viewer

    I will dig for more when I return home... It is a interesting one.

    In your case: However, it has a literal meaning, I think, that is in order to take this road it takes the good looking of your shoes i.e. their shining to be lost.
    Last edited by Sanmayce; 03-Mar-2011 at 20:21.

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    #10

    Re: Take the shine off his shoes

    He sticks to his guns
    He take the road as it comes
    It take the shine off his shoes
    He says it's a shame
    You know it may be a game
    Ah but I won't play to lose


    On the evidence of this sample, I think the song is about somebody who will not be discouraged by any difficulty that comes along in life – he takes the road as it comes even though it might take the shine off his shoes. But as a complete expression including the shoes, I too have never heard it in conversation.

    not a teacher
    not a songwriter either

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