take the safety off

English translation: set the safety catch on the gun to the "off" position

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:take the safety off
Selected answer:set the safety catch on the gun to the "off" position
Entered by: Jack Doughty

06:07 Sep 15, 2010
English language (monolingual) [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: take the safety off
She tried to work out the distance to the kitchen door then to the hallstand, then the time to unholster the gun and take the safety off. If she hit on him hard enough.....
Magicmarker
Local time: 05:57
set the safety catch on the gun to the "off" position
Explanation:
The gun would normally be left with the safety catch on. She would have to move it to the "off" position to enable her to fire the gun.
Selected response from:

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:57
Grading comment
Thank you very much
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



SUMMARY OF ALL EXPLANATIONS PROVIDED
4 +8set the safety catch on the gun to the "off" position
Jack Doughty
5Take the safety catch off
conejo
4 -1turn/switch off the safety catch
Jennifer Barnett


  

Answers


16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +8
set the safety catch on the gun to the "off" position


Explanation:
The gun would normally be left with the safety catch on. She would have to move it to the "off" position to enable her to fire the gun.

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:57
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 518
Grading comment
Thank you very much

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Rolf Keiser: switch the lever to "off"
37 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Jim Tucker (X): (Recent evidence suggests the chastity belt was just for show and never actually used, padlocks or no.)
1 hr
  -> Thank you.

agree  Annett Kottek (X)
2 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  BdiL: Which equals the colloquialism "take the safety catch off". BTW they are not referring to, say, a chastity belt, which might itself be defined a "safety (catch)". ;-) Maurizio
3 hrs
  -> Thank you. I believe they used padlocks on chastity belts, with the husband possessing the one and only key.

agree  B D Finch
5 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  Eski: Yep! Saludos: eski
19 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  axies
20 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  Phong Le
1 day 2 hrs
  -> Thank you.
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40 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Take the safety catch off


Explanation:
The "safety" is a mechanism on a gun that stops it from shooting.
So if you had a gun in your house, you would probably store it with the safety "on", so that you wouldn't actually shoot yourself or someone else accidentally while moving or cleaning the gun, etc. Hence, the woman in the story had to take time to remove the safety, so that she could actually shoot the gun.

Sometimes dangerous industrial machines have a "safety" mechanism as well.

conejo
United States
Local time: 17:57
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 16
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
turn/switch off the safety catch


Explanation:
To start with, strictly speaking, 'safety' is not a noun. Secondly, the safety catch is not physically removed from the gun but turned or switched off (or reset as Jack suggests). I guess I could accept the idiomatic/modern use of 'safety' as a noun (deep sigh from Grumpy Old Lady me) but not it's 'taking off'.

Jennifer Barnett
France
Local time: 00:57
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Allison Wright (X): "safe" - adjective; "safely" - adverb; "safety" - noun; "to save" - verb. A case of reading too quickly, perhaps?
29 mins
  -> Quite right but in this context (which I did not made clear) I feel that safety is describing what kind of catch it is. I mean, 'taking safety off' something is surely not good English? It is safe or it is not, safety is a state, not a thing.

neutral  Jack Doughty: "safety" here is just a colloquial short form of "safety catch".
1 hr

neutral  conejo: The catch is not something you turn off by means of a switch... you physically move it (take off). It may not be the King's English but the expression 'take off the safety' is definitely in widespread use in modern English.
22 hrs
  -> OK, it would seem that this is AMERICAN English. If I had known that at the start, I would have stayed away.
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