mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest
Phrasal Verb: Pass Off Options
Wagner Douglas
Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2016 1:24:49 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 10/24/2010
Posts: 78
Neurons: 725,151
Location: São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Firstly, I looked up the meaning at The Free Dictionary, which basically is: to present (oneself) as other than what one is, as in, He tried to pass himself off as a banker.

Now, have a look at the sentence:

I passed it off as just in keeping with her total disconcerting air. (lyrics to Diary - Song by Bread)

In this instance what does pass off mean?

Thank you very much,

wagner
eraigames
Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2016 2:32:04 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 12/14/2015
Posts: 171
Neurons: 1,668
I have rarely encountered the phrase in question being used in the second manner you listed. I feel that the more commonly used phrase is "chalk it up to...".

I just chalked it up to it having been due to her usual disconcerting air.


Regardless of which phrase is used, the meaning in such a situation is that the speaker is uncertain as to the other person's motivation for having done something, but the speaker is not very concerned with finding the true reason and so just ascribes the other person's action to some general aspect of the person's attitude or appearance.
thar
Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2016 3:26:21 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 24,416
Neurons: 98,918
Here, the person he is fooling is himself.

To pass something off as something else is to be deceptive, to not show something for what it really is.

To pass something off as something unimportant is to disregard it, to not notice what it really means.



eg
the prisoner walked out of the prison by passing himself off as a guard.

Other people saw the prisoner but they were deceived into thinking they saw a guard.

Here, the singer has seen this girl do something strange. But instead of seeing it for what it really is, he has convinced himself that it is something else - something unimportant -

'it was just normal for her - it was in keeping with her total (?) disconcerting air.'

eg
I saw my husband digging a big hole in the garden. But I just passed it off as his way of helping me with the gardening. It was only after the neighbours went missing that I thought maybe he had been digging a grave......


also remember
1 - these a pop lyrics, they don't have to make sense
and
2 - these were the seventies - they were probably stoned, and the lyrics definitely don't have to make sense!




NKM
Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2016 6:34:43 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 5,266
Neurons: 315,308
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
It could just as well have been "wrote it off " instead of "passed it off ". Both are equivalent idioms in this particular usage.

Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.