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drop sb a line Options
MiaKnox
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 10:55:31 AM
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Joined: 5/5/2010
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Hello everyone.

The dictionary says:

drop somebody a line (slightly informal)
to write a short letter to someone

nowadays, is it used with phone calls, since people don't usually send letters anymore?

I've heard people saying "I'll drop you a line" meaning "I'll call (contact) you" but I'm not sure if it's just a british or australian thing;

Thanks!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 1:00:01 PM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
What I've heard in this part of Britain is:
I'll call you
I'll catch you
I'll text you

"I'll drop you a line" always meant a short letter, to me. I suppose it could extend to a txt or e-mail or FB message (or even a PM on this site).
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 4:16:10 PM

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Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
I'd use this phrase today meaning I will send an e-mail (or PM here).
But I'm not sure how my sons would use this. Have to ask them.

Romany
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 8:19:12 PM
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Speaking from both a British and Australian view point I'd have to agree that I've never heard of anyone using "drop you a line" when they meant "I'll call you."

As for what is said, I agree with Dragon. With the addition of "I'll give you a ring." which always makes me giggle as it sounds like a proposal of marriage.
Shivanand
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 11:50:14 PM
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Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
My grand father, who was serving in the government during the Britsh Rule in India, would end his letter to my father thus:
Kindly drop a line in reply about your well being! Blessings!

May be those days, letters were being sent by post and the phrase imperatively meant a written form of a message! I became nostalgic seeing the familiarity of the phrase!!
Cheers!
thar
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 11:57:27 PM

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Romany wrote:
Speaking from both a British and Australian view point I'd have to agree that I've never heard of anyone using "drop you a line" when they meant "I'll call you."

As for what is said, I agree with Dragon. With the addition of "I'll give you a ring." which always makes me giggle as it sounds like a proposal of marriage.


better than "I'll give you a tinkle!

and I know lots of expressions have migrated from their original use, but whoever first used this for a phone call and wasn't laughed at...?


[and if a line is dropped, that means the phone call is cut off - it should mean "I will try to call you but inexplicably will not get through"
actually that sounds like an extremely useful phrase - I would use it all the time!
leonAzul
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 11:58:24 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,589
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Location: Miami, Florida, United States
MiaKnox wrote:
Hello everyone.

The dictionary says:

drop somebody a line (slightly informal)
to write a short letter to someone

nowadays, is it used with phone calls, since people don't usually send letters anymore?

I've heard people saying "I'll drop you a line" meaning "I'll call (contact) you" but I'm not sure if it's just a british or australian thing;

Thanks!


It's an AE thing as well, although as others have noted, it has become rather out-dated.
Romany
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2012 3:23:29 AM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Thar -

Well yes. Better to make an honest woman out of someone, than to enjoin them to take part in a Golden Shower, I guess.
dingdong
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2012 3:50:06 AM
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Location: Philippines
Romany wrote:
Thar -

Well yes. Better to make an honest woman out of someone, than to enjoin them to take part in a Golden Shower, I guess.


Whoa - shouldn't this be in the 'Curing Premature Ejaculation' thread?
anonymous
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2012 4:32:59 AM
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Does any body know what is the origin of this idiom I mean "drop me a line" ?
Shivanand
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2012 5:02:48 AM
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Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
@anonymous, messages hand-written on post cards,which were dropped in the post boxes in good old days. May be that's the origin! I am guessing!
MiaKnox
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2012 6:22:52 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/5/2010
Posts: 82
Neurons: 246
I found this lyrics from a teen band from the US:

You know I've got your number
and you know that you've got mine
I was wonderin if some time
you'd drop me a line
I see you every day and I fall
and I wonder if I'm
gonna get that call
well I'm home all the time
please drop me line
I wanna hear your voice on the phone
everyday when i get home
I'm home all the time
Drop me a line
drop me a line, drop me a line


they're clearly talking about a phone call. I guess it's a new thing maybe? Because the new generations may think that "line" come from "telephone line"

=D
RuthP
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2012 11:42:19 AM

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Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
Wow. I must say, I've not heard this used with phone calls. For calling, I'd use "give you a ring".

In this day of electronic communication, however, "drop me a line" could definitely include e-mail and would not (my opinion) be out of place with texting.
thar
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2012 6:55:36 PM

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I will believe it if someone insists it is used for phone calls (not texting) but the evidence of that song alone does not convince me - the need to find a rhyme with 'mine', coupled with a complete lack of understanding of an old-fashioned phrase, could have led to nonsensical lyrics - unheard of in a teen pop song!
leonAzul
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2012 8:36:27 PM

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Joined: 8/11/2011
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Location: Miami, Florida, United States
shivanand wrote:
@anonymous, messages hand-written on post cards,which were dropped in the post boxes in good old days. May be that's the origin! I am guessing!


That sounds like a reasonable guess. Eventually, I suppose further, it came to mean any sort of brief message.

It has a much better feel to it than "to touch base," which has always sounded a little creepy to me. Anxious
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012 9:17:51 AM
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Joined: 9/10/2009
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To 'dingdong': I am laughing my 'arse' off over your comment to Rommany. :)
dingdong
Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012 9:28:31 AM
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Joined: 2/7/2010
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Location: Philippines
Marissa, you should go there, too. Sounds like you may have some new ideas.
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