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  1. Member
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    #1

    the origins of "right away" and "right off"

    The phrases “right away” and “right off” both mean “without delay”. And the word “right” is just to emphasize the word after it. The problem is “away” and “off”. If we see “away” and “off” in a literally way, there’s nothing to do with “without delay or immediately”. Does anyone know why the two phrases collocate in this way? What are the origins of them? Thanks!

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: the origins of "right away" and "right off"

    That's the definition of an idiom - usually two words, one of which is frequently a preposition, which mean one thing separately but something else when put together.

    You can Google "etymology of right away" and "etymology of right off" to see if there is any information online about their origin.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: the origins of "right away" and "right off"

    If we see “away” and “off” in a literally way, there’s nothing to do with “without delay or immediately”.
    Nothing? "Away" and "off" can both be used as adverbials indicating motion from one place to an unspecified place, as in "He drove off" and "He ran away," and time periods are commonly conceptualized in terms of motion from one point of time to another. Think of the idiom "right off the bat." If you Google its origin, you'll see that it lies in baseball. When a batter hits the ball, the ball moves off the bat. Whatever happens right as that happens happens immediately.

  4. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: the origins of "right away" and "right off"

    Quote Originally Posted by z7655431 View Post
    And the word “right” is just to emphasize the word after it. The problem is “away” and “off”. If we see “away” and “off” in a literally way, there’s nothing to do with “without delay or immediately”.
    The way I see it, it's the right that gives the meaning of 'immediately' whereas the particles off and away give the meaning of 'from one place to another'.

    (To reiterate Phaedrus in post #3)

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