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  1. VIP Member
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    up to scratch, up to snuff, up to speed, up to the mark.

    Dear teachers,

    Recently I read in my post an interesting for me expression. Its uncommonness attracted my undivided attention.

    Pierce Brosnan's singing was a bit under par, but you know, it really didn't matter. He had a go and at least carried the tune.

    Knowing the meaning of the expression up to the par namely satisfactory, up to a given standard as in: She didnt feel up to par today so she stayed home
    follows as a logical consequence that a bit under par = not up to a given standart

    There is another example from Telegraph Golf:

    Lee Westwood happy to be feeling under par at the Scotish Open at Loch Lomond

    The good news is that Lee Westwood, who handed in a 67 to the 64s of Shongchai Jaidee and Alexander Noren on the first day of the Barclays Scottish Open, is feeling "a bit under the weather". That was precisely his state of health in the days leading up to the recent US Open where he finished third behind Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate.

    We see a new idiom namely under the weather = ailing, ill; also, suffering from a hangover. For example, She said she was under the weather and couldn't make it to the meeting.

    This expression presumably alludes to the influence of the weather on one's health.

    On the second hand, knowing that hangover = unpleasant physical effects following the heavy use of alcohol you might draw a conclusion that the same term might be sometimes used as a euphemism for being drunk, as in After four drinks, Ellen was a bit under the weather.

    There are further suchlike term as up to scratch, up to snuff, up to speed, up to the mark.

    What a mess! I wonder how to sort out that muddle.

    Would you help me?

    I wouldnt like to be in an untaught ENS place.



  2. Soup's Avatar
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    English Teacher
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      • Canada
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      • China

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    Re: up to scratch, up to snuff, up to speed, up to the mark.

    First, try Idioms: up to par -- up yours , and from
    up to scratch, in conformity with a certain standard; adequate; satisfactory: The local symphony orchestra has improved this year, but it is still not up to scratch.

    up to speed, a. operating at full or optimum speed. b. functioning or producing at an expected, acceptable, or competitive level; up to par: a new firm not yet up to speed.

    up to snuff, Informal. a. British. not easily imposed upon; shrewd; sharp. b. up to a certain standard; satisfactory: His performance wasn't up to snuff.

    A recognized standard of quality: schoolwork that is not up to the mark.


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