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  1. tkacka15's Avatar
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    #1

    to out-Osborne

    "McDonnell, making his first appearance on the frontbench after 20 years in parliament, startled MPs by admitting he was embarrassed that he had reversed his two-week-old plan to tell Labour MPs to vote for Osborne’s charter for budget responsibility. He confessed: “I was trying to out-Osborne Osborne.”" [From The Guardian.]

    Is "out-Osborne" a verb in “I was trying to out-Osborne Osborne”? What does it exactly mean in such a context?

    Thank you.
    I'm not a teacher and I'm not a native speaker of English.

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    #2

    Re: to out-Osborne

    He was trying to outmanoeuvre Osborne by taking a stronger line than him, but one that is similar to Osborne's way of thinking. It is used as a verb here.

  2. tkacka15's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: to out-Osborne

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    He was trying to outmanoeuvre Osborne by taking a stronger line than him, but one that is similar to Osborne's way of thinking. It is used as a verb here.
    Thank you, Tdol, for your excellent reply.

    Can I understand the verb "to out-Osborne" as "to outfox"?
    I'm not a teacher and I'm not a native speaker of English.

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    #4

    Re: to out-Osborne

    Sort of- McDonnel is left-wing and Osborne right, so out-Osborning Osborne would involve taking a more right-wing policy that the one Osborne was proposing. You could outfox him with a clever left-wing policy, but that would not out-Osborne him. It involves beating him at his own game.

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