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proverbial pack of fags

English translation: proverbial pack of fags

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01:29 Apr 1, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: proverbial pack of fags
XXX (name of a soldier) had never had a hero: he was five when his father went out for a proverbial pack of fags and neglected to return, and, never being much of a reader ...

I understand "fag" here means "cigarette", but why "PROVERBIAL pack of fags"? Thanks.
Zhoudan
Local time: 03:45
English translation:proverbial pack of fags
Explanation:
Proverbial because the story of someone going out for a pack of cigarettes and never returning is a cliché that has been told many times.

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Note added at 4 mins (2004-04-01 01:34:27 GMT)
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About 30 years ago John Updike wrote a now rather famous novel called Rabbit Run in which the hero, Rabbit Angstrom, a former college jock turned boring middle class citizen, left the responsible ennui of his suburban life by going out for a pack of cigarettes and never returning.
http://www.fakes.net/duets.htm

\"My father left when I was 6,\" He spoke quietly so not to startle her. When she looked at him he continued. “Said he was going out for a pack of smokes and never came back. He left me alone with my mum and baby brother, I’ll never forget that. ...\"
http://sonnycarly.net/fanfic/misc/whichled.html
Selected response from:

ntext
United States
Local time: 14:45
Grading comment
Thanks you all.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +16proverbial pack of fagsntext
4 +6a euphemism for leaving and not coming back, walking out on his familyDorene Cornwell


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +16
proverbial pack of fags


Explanation:
Proverbial because the story of someone going out for a pack of cigarettes and never returning is a cliché that has been told many times.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 mins (2004-04-01 01:34:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

About 30 years ago John Updike wrote a now rather famous novel called Rabbit Run in which the hero, Rabbit Angstrom, a former college jock turned boring middle class citizen, left the responsible ennui of his suburban life by going out for a pack of cigarettes and never returning.
http://www.fakes.net/duets.htm

\"My father left when I was 6,\" He spoke quietly so not to startle her. When she looked at him he continued. “Said he was going out for a pack of smokes and never came back. He left me alone with my mum and baby brother, I’ll never forget that. ...\"
http://sonnycarly.net/fanfic/misc/whichled.html

ntext
United States
Local time: 14:45
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 56
Grading comment
Thanks you all.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Marian Greenfield
0 min

agree  Kim Metzger: The famous pack of cigarettes.
11 mins

agree  Begoña Yañez
2 hrs

agree  Huijer
4 hrs

agree  pablosan
4 hrs

agree  chopra_2002
4 hrs

agree  Pike
5 hrs

agree  Jonathan MacKerron: now that no one smokes, what does one go out for nowadays?
5 hrs

agree  Aisha Maniar
5 hrs

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
7 hrs

agree  Jörgen Slet
8 hrs

agree  DGK T-I: agree Norbert & Kim (to Jonathan: to get a breath of fresh air?)
9 hrs

agree  elenus
13 hrs

agree  PCovs: Interestingly it seems to be international. An Iraqi chief of command fled Denmark as the war against Iraq was about to start allegedly telling his family that he was going to get cigarettes!
13 hrs

agree  Hacene
14 hrs

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
18 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
a euphemism for leaving and not coming back, walking out on his family


Explanation:
"going out for a pack of cigarettes" is a euphemism for leaving and not coming back, walking out on his family.

"going out for a pack of cigarettes" is an example of what the person leaving tells their spouse when they leave.

"proverbial" just means it's common and again refers to the euphemistic nature of this line.

Dorene Cornwell
Local time: 12:45
Works in field
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kim Metzger: Another way to put it.
10 mins
  -> thank you

agree  pablosan
4 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
6 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  Jörgen Slet
8 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  DGK T-I
9 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  PCovs
14 hrs
  -> Thank you
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




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