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slam dunk

English translation: foregone conclusion, dead certainty, done deal, done and dusted

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:slam dunk
English translation:foregone conclusion, dead certainty, done deal, done and dusted
Entered by: Mats Wiman
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05:28 Aug 8, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Linguistics
English term or phrase: slam dunk
This phrase is more and more used outside basketball, where - if I understand it correctly - it means that a tall player scores a goal by putting the ball in the basket from above.

CIA Chief George Tenet told the president or someone else that the intelligence about Iraq was 'a slam dunk' and today I again heard that the (criminal) case is 'a slam dunk'.
Could some native speaker (probably US rather than UK) illuminate the meaning and nuance of this expression please!
Mats Wiman
Sweden
Local time: 21:26
foregone conclusion
Explanation:
dead certainty
done deal
done and dusted
from the point of inception there can only be one guaranteed outcome
concluded/over/(winning)outcome guaranteed from the second it is put into motion

Are some paraphrases that spring to mind from my understanding of this expression.
If you type "slam dunk case" into google, you can read lots of examples.
hth

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Note added at 2 hrs 16 mins (2004-08-08 07:44:26 GMT)
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a definite, a cert, a sure-fire thing
No margin for error, glaringly obvious

\'plain as a pikestaff\' ... is an expression that I usually associate with describing how somebody looks/their appearance - ie they are very plain ;-(

Perhaps \'plain as the nose on your face\'
plain as the nose on your face - very easy to see or understand, very clear, crystal clear We have photos of the earth from outer space that prove the earth is round. It\'s plain as the nose on your face!
Selected response from:

jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:26
Grading comment
Thanks everybody for this stimulating journey. I think Jerrie has hit the nail's head in the given context.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +14foregone conclusion
jerrie
4 +5a sure thing, even money, in the bagxxxsergey
5 +4so close to being done/won/correct that it's as good as being done/won/correcteccotraduttrice
5something reliable or certain; a foregone conclusion
Vladimir Dubisskiy
4forceful dramatic moveRowan Morrell


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +4
so close to being done/won/correct that it's as good as being done/won/correct


Explanation:
When a basketball player executes a slam dunk, nothing can stop the ball from going into the basket once the maneuver has been started. The ball is too close to the basket for anything to be prevent the goal from being made. That is what this expression means to imply...the inevitability of an event which is about to occur.

eccotraduttrice
United States
Local time: 14:26
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  cjperera
4 hrs

agree  Mikhail Kropotov
5 hrs

agree  chopra_2002
6 hrs

agree  Jörgen Slet
7 hrs
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12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
forceful dramatic move


Explanation:
A good definition of "slam dunk" outside basketball contexts can be found at the reference below.

In your context, it could perhaps also mean something like "dramatic development".

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Note added at 24 mins (2004-08-08 05:52:33 GMT)
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Here\'s what the American Heritage dictionary says:

\"1. Basketball A ***dramatic forceful*** dunk shot.
2. Slang A ***forceful dramatic*** move: “I ask [him] whether the slam dunk of the indictment was a spontaneous or planned bit of theater” (Ron Rosenbaum).\"

Note the emphasis on \"dramatic\" and \"forceful\".


    Reference: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=slam-dunk&r=67
Rowan Morrell
New Zealand
Local time: 07:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  eccotraduttrice: Just said I never heard it used that way, never said it couldn't be used that way ;)
6 mins
  -> Well, it's there in the online dictionary, and a slam dunk in basketball tends to be quite dramatic. This is reinforced by the American Heritage Dictionary entry I've just quoted.

neutral  Richard Benham: Problem with this definition is that it doesn't fit the given context very well. It certainly is a feature of slam dunks that they are forceful and dramatic, but here the point seems to be that they can't be stopped.
15 hrs
  -> Hmm, yes, you might well be right. Looks like this one is Jerrie's. Thanks for the comments Richard.
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +14
foregone conclusion


Explanation:
dead certainty
done deal
done and dusted
from the point of inception there can only be one guaranteed outcome
concluded/over/(winning)outcome guaranteed from the second it is put into motion

Are some paraphrases that spring to mind from my understanding of this expression.
If you type "slam dunk case" into google, you can read lots of examples.
hth

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs 16 mins (2004-08-08 07:44:26 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

a definite, a cert, a sure-fire thing
No margin for error, glaringly obvious

\'plain as a pikestaff\' ... is an expression that I usually associate with describing how somebody looks/their appearance - ie they are very plain ;-(

Perhaps \'plain as the nose on your face\'
plain as the nose on your face - very easy to see or understand, very clear, crystal clear We have photos of the earth from outer space that prove the earth is round. It\'s plain as the nose on your face!


jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 23
Grading comment
Thanks everybody for this stimulating journey. I think Jerrie has hit the nail's head in the given context.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jonathan MacKerron
4 mins

agree  Kevin Kelly: Strongly agree. Another possibility is "a sure thing."
1 hr
  -> Yes, I think that's what I meant by sure-fire thing. Thanks

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
2 hrs

agree  Mikhail Kropotov
3 hrs
  -> "a closed case", maybe ...

agree  airmailrpl: foregone conclusion
4 hrs

agree  chopra_2002
4 hrs

agree  Saleh Chowdhury, Ph.D.
5 hrs

agree  Jörgen Slet
6 hrs
  -> Thanks

agree  Nanny Wintjens
7 hrs

agree  Richard Benham: You could also say an "open and shut case", although it might be a little dated.
13 hrs
  -> That's the blighter - open and shut case ... think that's what I was struggling for with 'closed case'.... Sunday Syndrome ;-(

agree  Eva Karpouzi
16 hrs

agree  Rowan Morrell: Looks like you've executed a slam dunk here! :-)
18 hrs
  -> High fives all round ;-)

agree  Ramesh Madhavan
23 hrs

agree  Kurt Porter: Who coined the phrase? Chick Hearn, former broadcaster for the LA Lakers. By the way, a dunk attempt can be stopped, vai a last second block, or it bounces off the back of the rim. However, 99.9% of the time, it's "a sure thing."
1 day2 mins
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13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
something reliable or certain; a foregone conclusion


Explanation:
The imagery is fro basketball, in which a slam dunk is a forceful shot ('dunk') in which the player thrusts ('slams') the ball down through the basket with both hands from above the rim.

Delivered for you from:
Brewer's Dictionary of modern phrase and fable.
(highly recommended)

Vladimir Dubisskiy
United States
Local time: 14:26
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in UkrainianUkrainian
PRO pts in category: 3
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
a sure thing, even money, in the bag


Explanation:
e.g.
Don't worry about it; it's a slam dunk!





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Note added at 1 day 2 hrs 35 mins (2004-08-09 08:03:51 GMT)
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... It\'s even money that by the time the bus had returned to New Orleans, some
reporter had already regurgitated into his or her laptop something like: ...
www.jsonline.com/packer/arc/13097/kiln122.html

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Note added at 1 day 2 hrs 37 mins (2004-08-09 08:05:54 GMT)
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... Without even looking I can say it\'s even money that the RAM is not installed properly.
It\'s either in the wrong slots, not fully seated, or possibly bad. ...
www.mysuperpc.com/build/ pc_first_boot_common_problems.shtml

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Note added at 1 day 2 hrs 44 mins (2004-08-09 08:12:48 GMT)
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the last 2 links explaining the \'even money\' expression are meant to be for Richard Benham\'s attention

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Note added at 1 day 3 hrs 4 mins (2004-08-09 08:32:26 GMT)
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to Richard again:
even money - in its original meaning as i understand it - is a safe bet (not going to lose anything) which adds to a feeling of certainty as the above examples illustrate (one is pretty sure a reporter has already written something about it .... or one is pretty sure the RAM is not installed properly - he can say that without even looking ...).

obviously the meaning has nothing to do with gambling, as \'slam dunk\' has nothing to do with basketball any longer.

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Note added at 1 day 3 hrs 10 mins (2004-08-09 08:38:27 GMT)
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the meaning of slang expressions constantly shifts

xxxsergey
Local time: 20:26
Works in field
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  airmailrpl: a sure thing
1 hr

agree  chopra_2002: yup!
2 hrs

agree  Jörgen Slet
3 hrs

agree  xxxsarahl
3 hrs

agree  Orla Ryan
4 hrs

neutral  Richard Benham: OK, except what's "even money" doing there?//"Even money" is a 50% chance--anything but a certainty.
9 hrs
  -> see above examples
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