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What does this sentence mean? So I have been reading a book and there 's I don't quite understand. The text goes: "The big kid is Roland. He had dreams of being a military boeuf but apparently had too much testosterone, or steroids, or a combination of both, leaving him a little too scary even for the military. Like Connor, Roland got into fights at school-although Connor suspected Roland's fights were much, much worse. That's not what did him in, though. Roland had beaten up his stepfather for beating his mom. The mother took her husband's side, and the stepfather got off without warning" I want to know what "That's not what did him in" means. At first I thought it meant that he was sent to prison, but then I realised that the sentence had to be "That's not what GOT him in". I looked up everywhere on the web and I couldn't find any satisfying results. Thanks for responding!
Jan 17, 2016 11:19 AM
Answers · 3
The idiom "did him/her in" generally means "led to his/her downfall", but it is often (if not mostly) used in the context of having died from something: - He drank too much, but it was the smoking that did him in.
January 17, 2016
In the UK, "to do in" is slang for "successfully defeat". In this case, I guess from the context that his violent act against his stepfather was enough to ensure that he was successfully convicted of a crime and sent to prison. In this sense, he was "done in" by the authorities and / or the people who wanted him to be punished. Since we are talking about slang, I'd appreciate it if a US speaker could also comment. The reference to "mom" (not the English "mum") betrays the writer as more inclined towards US slang.
January 17, 2016
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English, French
Learning Language