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    #1

    don't let the turkeys get you down

    Hi,
    I've seen a wonderful movie, "Mao's last dancer"; in a scene the main character (Li Cunxin) is given a t-shirt with this sentence and the picture of some turkeys keeping down an elephant: Li is a Chinese ballet dancer and has just arrived in America, so the artistic director of the ballet school (Ben Stevenson) buys him some American clothes. Ben says that the sentence means that "there are times when you just have to be strong".
    Could you tell me something more about this curious sentence? Its meaning and origin?

    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: don't let the turkeys get you down

    It comes from the saying "It's hard to soar like an eagle when you're surrounded by turkeys."

    The idea being that those who are around you, whether co-workers or friends/family, can keep you down, prevent you from achieving your best.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: don't let the turkeys get you down

    There is a common expression in BrE, "Don't let the b*stards get you down" which simply means "Don't let other people (generally people you don't like or respect) have a negative effect on you or your mood".

    The Free Dictionary gives one (slang) definition of a "turkey" as "an inept or undesirable person". I assume the T-shirt is meant to make the wearer feel that they are an "elephant" - large, strong, hard to beat, and suggesting that they not allow people who are "turkeys" to get the better of them.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

    • Member Info
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    #4

    Re: don't let the turkeys get you down

    So it comes from an idiom/saying but it's not exactly one, is it? Thanks.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: don't let the turkeys get you down

    That was certainly my initial reaction, that they had taken that specific idiom and simply changed one word to "turkeys". I have seen a similar T-shirt worn by a physicist, reading "Don't let gravity get you down". Science humour±
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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