1 of 2
1
Have it out for
Posted: 16 November 2012 03:37 PM   [ Ignore ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2312
Joined  2007-01-30

Heard whilst watching a rerun of a Cold Case episode: “So after that the guard had it out for him?”. It’s clear from context that what is meant is (as this Englishman would put it), the guard had it in for him, ie from that time the guard would make it his business to rain shit upon the unfortunate chap. To have it out with someone would mean rather to confront them, to argue with them.

So, have it out for. Real American usage or the actor in question misspeaking?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 November 2012 04:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  649
Joined  2011-04-10

I’ve located a few instances from before 2000. In each case, ‘search inside the book’ for “had it out for him”:

Dispatches from the Cold: A Novel By Leonard Chang, Black Heron Press, 1998, p. 241

The Essential Guide To Mental Health: The most comprehensive guide to the ... By Jack M. Gorman, M.D., St. Martin’s Press, 1996, p. 284

Blessings from the Fall: Turning a Fall From Grace Into a New Beginning By Beverly Engel, PH.D., Health Communications, Inc., 1997, p. 72

Pulpsmith, Volume 5, Issue 3, The Smith, 1985, p. 27

North western reporter. Second series. N.W. 2d. Cases argued and determined in the courts of Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Volume 366, 1985, p. 911

Twister: A Novel John Lantigua, Simon & Schuster, 1992, p. 88

Night Whisper Patricia Wallace, Kensington Pub., 1987, p. 32

Personnel/human resource management Terry L. Leap, Michael D. Crino, Macmillan, 1989, p. 316

The Phillips family, our history, our heritage Shirley Phillips Friel, S.P. Friel, 1988, p. 73

Mount St. Helena and R. L. Stevenson State Park: A History and Guide Ken Stanton, Bonnie View Books, 1993, p. 26

[ Edited: 16 November 2012 05:02 PM by sobiest ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 November 2012 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1163
Joined  2007-02-14

I believe the USn phrase is more commonly “had it in for him”.  This is from a native USn who has been around.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 November 2012 08:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2816
Joined  2007-01-31

What Faldage said.  I would tend to attribute “have it out for” to the limitless human capacity for mangling stock expressions, though perhaps it’s common enough to have to be considered a legitimate variant.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2012 04:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4687
Joined  2007-01-03

In my experience it’s common, but have it in for is by far the more common version.

I would guess that it was created by conflation with have it out, meaning to argue or fight, as in “the two of them had it out over the affair.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2012 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3466
Joined  2007-01-29

The things you learn!  I don’t think I’ve ever heard or seen it, and I would have guessed it was a nonce mistake.  I’m flabbergasted to see that it’s so common.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2012 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1990
Joined  2007-02-19

I’m with languagehat.on this.  I wonder how a language can possibly be enriched by its speakers, when so many of them treat it with such a wanton lack of respect

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2012 01:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2816
Joined  2007-01-31

While the curmudgeon in my agrees with lionello, my pesky rational side insists on pointing out that neither version of the expression makes any better sense literally: it’s not like saying “head over heels” to mean upside-down, or “I could care less” to indicate a complete lack of interest.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2012 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  649
Joined  2011-04-10

Here are a few instances of “had it in for” from ~100 years ago [in each case, search for “had it in for"]:

Hearings before the Joint commission of the Congress of the United States: Sixty-third Congress ...[search for “had it in for"], United States. Joint Commission to Investigate Indian Affairs, Govt. print. off., 1914, p. 1986

...He is a shrewd cowman and horseman, and they have had it in for him ever since he moved on the reservation, and they will not bu[y] his hay....

and,

The false chevalier, or, The lifeguard of Marie Antoinette, By William Douw Lighthall, F.E. Grafton & Sons, Montreal, 1898, p. 301:

books?id=XeoOAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA301&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U3-EtcrK1J0JYVzhakGYFRGjWXmwg&ci=83,1278,794,112&edge=0

[note: the image is a clickable link]

and,

The Rosenhagens: a drama in three acts, By Max Halbe, [translated] from Poet Lore, Vol. XXI, No. 1, January-Frbrurary, 1910, p. 21:

books?id=JtF4GfQeZbEC&pg=PA21&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U2iz2GVlqwCSLpWF_0ezflBzE_gQQ&ci=77,584,711,96&edge=0

[note: the image is a clickable link]

[ Edited: 17 November 2012 03:30 PM by sobiest ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2012 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2312
Joined  2007-01-30

There’s an interesting first cite in OED although I’m still not quite sure what it’s getting at.

1849 A. Harris Emigrant Family II. vi. 122 In consequence of a former disagreement, the speaker already ‘had it in for him’ whenever a drinking bout should afford opportunity for the said ‘it’ becoming a transferable possession.

BTW both the above and second cite ("1888 ‘R. Boldrewood’ Robbery under Arms II. xviii. 283 He ‘had it in’ for more than one of the people who helped the police.") seem to be Australian. Significant? Perhaps so but it’s no more than speculation of course without firm evidence.

[ Edited: 17 November 2012 04:59 PM by aldiboronti ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2012 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2816
Joined  2007-01-31

My reading of that first quote (which would admittedly benefit from more context) is that the party of the first part had it in for the party of the second part, and if the opportunity arose (such as finding him drunk) would give it to him.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2012 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3053
Joined  2007-02-26

"Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it infamy!”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 November 2012 09:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  246
Joined  2007-02-16

I am familiar with the expression “having it in for someone.” Never heard of the ‘out’ version.

Could the ‘in’ version have been a contraction of another idiom?  According to the Free Dictionary:

“have your knife into somebody (British & Australian informal)
to try to cause problems for someone because you do not like them eg Mike’s had his knife into me ever since he found out I was seeing his ex-girlfriend.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 November 2012 01:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  649
Joined  2011-04-10
Skibberoo - 17 November 2012 09:33 PM

...Could the ‘in’ version have been a contraction of another idiom?…

I wondered about “having a knife out” for someone but found very little support for that as a popular phrase.

I saw: ”You’ve always had a knife out for me.” From The guarded heights, by Wadsworth Camp, Doubleday, Page & Co., 1921, p. 251 [if the link does not work, search inside the book for “a knife out"].

and,

This: ”...but it seems have got a knife out for each other.” From Ice And Refrigeration, Illustrated [Volumes 42-43], Volume XLII, April 1, 2012, p. 243 of the collection [if the link does not work, search inside the book for “a knife out"].

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 November 2012 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2312
Joined  2007-01-30
Dr. Techie - 17 November 2012 05:15 PM

My reading of that first quote (which would admittedly benefit from more context) is that the party of the first part had it in for the party of the second part, and if the opportunity arose (such as finding him drunk) would give it to him.

Thank you, doc. I see now what my weary midnight wits obscured.

[ Edited: 18 November 2012 11:08 AM by aldiboronti ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 November 2012 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  811
Joined  2007-06-20

The Second World War army recruit gets a letter from home with some news and, puzzled, goes to bis sergeant. “Sarge”, he says, “my wife’s sent me a letter saying she’s had a baby, but I don’t see how that can be - I’ve not been home for 15 months.” “Private,” the sergeant says to him, “that’s what we call a ‘grudge’ baby.” “Grudge baby, Sarge?” “Yes, Private - somebody’s had it in for you.”

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1
 
‹‹ Bike from bicycle      Bucket list ››