Results 1 to 2 of 2
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Urdu
      • Home Country:
      • Pakistan
      • Current Location:
      • Pakistan

    • Join Date: Mar 2013
    • Posts: 296
    • Post Thanks / Like

    take by the collar

    Hi teachers,

    "...,but the boy must take himself by the collar and make himself..." What does "take oneself by the collar" mean? Is it an idiom?

    A Word A Day:

  1. Grumpy's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 970
    • Post Thanks / Like

    Re: take by the collar

    Yes; it is an idiom, albeit an old-fashioned, one in BrE. To "take someone by the collar" is to stop them doing something bad or inadequate, and start them off doing something better. In other words, to make someone change his or her ways. This boy must do that for himself. It's also expressed more forcefully as taking someone "by the scruff of the neck".
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

Similar Threads

  1. [Vocabulary] Turn up a collar under a blazer
    By Cynthia Garett in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 24-Oct-2013, 20:11
  2. in collar
    By rida5 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Jun-2013, 22:08
  3. bow tie collar
    By Jiayun in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 16-Sep-2012, 17:59
  4. hot under the collar
    By probus in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 25-Feb-2011, 05:55
  5. Collar
    By Tdol in forum Idioms
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 22-Feb-2011, 00:04


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts