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    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 212

    school-yard petulance

    Dear Friends,

    One of the posters (expressing resentment about something) has recently said/written to someone:

    "What kind of school-yard petulance gives with you?"

    I wonder what exactly the poster wanted to say. And anyway, is there such an expression as 'give with'? My dictionaries draw a total blank on what give with might mean.

    Take care,


  1. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
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      • UK
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      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038

    Re: school-yard petulance

    I believe this usage developed from the question "What gives?" - meaning 'What's happening' (probably made popular by German-speaking immigrants to the USA: Was gibt's?.)

    From this general usage, a specific one developed: "What gives with you?" (=Why are you behaving like this?).

    I've never heard the expression used with a noun like this. I'd guess your sentence meant 'Why are you behaving in a way typical of the sort of petulance to be expected in a school-yard argument.' But, as I say, 'gives with' normally, in my experience, only exists in the question 'What gives with X?'


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