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  • Subject

    I think I can lick it


    Aus dem Hitchcock-Film "Vertigo", also aus den 50ern. Was bedeutet "lick it"?

    "My doctor said you can't get rid of the vertigo. Only another emotional shock could do it and probably wouldn't. You're not going to dive off another roof top to find out?"

    "I think I can lick it."

    "Well how?"

    "I have a theory. If I can get used to heights gradually..."

    Authorvnoetsjka (398946)  21 Mar 23, 09:51

    lick it = to overcome it, beat it. bewältigen, überwinden.

    #1Author Lonelobo (595126) 21 Mar 23, 09:54



    2b: to get the better of OVERCOMEDEFEAT


    Here, to overcome

    #2Author covellite (520987) 21 Mar 23, 09:55

    Danke euch beiden

    #3Authorvnoetsjka (398946) 21 Mar 23, 10:06

    Leo kennt dazu :

    Dictionary: lick

     ... to lick sth. | licked, licked | [ugs.]  - manage      etw. bewältigen | bewältigte, bewältigt | ...

    #4Author no me bré (700807) 21 Mar 23, 10:18

    "etwas bewältigen" ist jedoch nicht so umgangssprachlich wie "to lick is/sth." -- Hier müsste man was Passendes fürs Deutsche noch finden - in Richtung

    "etwas packen"


    #5Author Seltene Erde (1378604) 21 Mar 23, 11:14

    "etwas gebacken kriegen"?

    #6Author B.L.Z. Bubb (601295) 21 Mar 23, 11:23


    mit etwas fertigwerden?

    Frage an NES und Bewanderte: Ist 'lick' auch so ungefähr aus der Zeit von Hitchcock, oder ist es heute auch noch verbreitet?

    #7Author Gibson (418762) 21 Mar 23, 11:38

    Maybe it's still in regional use in some parts of the US? Sounds like Mark Twain to me...

    Shouldn't this sense be marked as AE?

    #8Author covellite (520987) 21 Mar 23, 11:48


    (Ich kannte es in BE nicht, das heißt aber nichts. Aber Collins hat keine AE-Kennzeichnung:

    2. VERB

    If you lick someone or something, you easily defeat them in a fight or competition.


    He might be able to lick us all in a fair fight. [VERB noun] 

    The Chancellor's upbeat message that the Government had licked inflation for good was marred by more job losses. [VERB noun] )

    #9Author Gibson (418762)  21 Mar 23, 14:04

    Perhaps it's not AE, as none of the other dictionaries I've checked marked it as such either. If we're lucky someone will have time to dig a little deeper than I did.

    #10Author covellite (520987) 21 Mar 23, 14:20

    lick, v.



    a. To beat, thrash. Also, to drive (something) out of (a person) by thrashing. †to lick off: to cut off clean, to slice off.

    1535   W. Stewart tr. H. Boethius Bk. Cron. Scotl. (1858) I. 144  Leggis war likkit of hard of at the kne.

    1567   T. Harman Caueat for Commen Cursetors (new ed.) s.v. (Farmer)  Lycke, to beate.

    1719   A. Ramsay Epist. to Hamilton vi  May I be licket wi' a bittle, Gin of your numbers I think little.

    1732   H. Fielding Mock Doctor i. ii  Suppose I've a mind he should drub, Whose bones are they, Sir, he's to lick?

    1775   F. Burney Jrnl. Nov. in Early Jrnls. & Lett. (1990) II. 178  As for..your Father, I could lick him for his affected Coolness & moderation.

    1828   C. Darwin in F. Darwin Life & Lett. C. Darwin (1888) I. 167  How those poor dogs must have been licked.

    1857   T. Hughes Tom Brown's School Days i. viii. 191  Say you won't fag—they'll soon get tired of licking you.

    1879   C. H. Spurgeon Serm. XXV. 542  Almost as free as America in the olden time, when every man was free to lick his own nigger.

    1881   Atlantic Monthly 49 41  Well, I've tried to lick the badness out of him... You can, out of some boys, you know.

    b. To overcome, get the better of; to excel, surpass. it licks me: I cannot explain it. Also to lick into fits: to defeat thoroughly.

    1800   in Spirit of Public Jrnls. (1801) 4 232  By Dane, Saxon, or Pict We had never been lick'd Had we stuck to the king of the island.

    1836   F. B. Head Let. in S. Smiles Publisher & Friends (1891) II. xxxi. 366  I believe we shall lick the radicals.

    1847   T. De Quincey Milton v. Southey & Landor in Tait's Edinb. Mag. Apr. 253/2  Greece was..proud..of having licked him [sc. an enemy].

    1879   E. Walford Londoniana I. 37  If we have a war and beat Russia or lick Abyssinia into fits.

    1889   ‘R. Boldrewood’ Robbery under Arms xxiv  It licked me to think it had been hid away all the time.

    1890   ‘R. Boldrewood’ Colonial Reformer (1891) 195  As a seller of unparalleled generosity, we can't be licked.

    1900   Speaker 8 Sept. 618  We must either lick and rule these savages or run away.


    1861   T. Hughes Tom Brown at Oxf. I. xii. 228  I believe that a gentleman will always lick in a fair fight.



    I'm familiar with it in both senses listed at OED sense 6. Both clearly BE. Dated? Neither are part of my active vocabulary. The OP uses sense 6b (dating back only to 1800) (as against 6a's 16C origin).

    #11AuthorBion (1092007) 21 Mar 23, 14:35

    #11 Not part of my active vocabulary either although I'm also familiar with it.. My immediate thought was that it is somewhat dated and that I'd place it on the western side of the Atlantic, possibly in a cowboy film.

    #12Author FernSchreiber (1341928) 21 Mar 23, 14:53

    etw. beikommen ?

    der Sache beikommen ?

    #13AuthorBion (1092007) 21 Mar 23, 15:22

    Jetzt habe ich was in einem anderen Kontext gesehen. Ist das dieselbe Bedeutung oder was ganz anderes?

    Schreibt jemand auf sozialen Medien: "I will most likely be licked and die before they find a treatment for my disease" 

    #14Authorvnoetsjka (398946)  28 Mar 23, 11:45

    Er fühlt sich verar***t, weil er vermutlich sterben muss, bevor man seine Krankheit erfolgreich heilen kann.

    #15Author penguin (236245) 28 Mar 23, 13:30

    Das klingt mir zu aktiv, so als ließe sich ein Urheber der Handlung benennen.

    Wenn schon mit Sternchen, würde ich "in den Ar*** gekniffen" sagen. Das passt m.E. auch zum Sprachregister.

    OT: Da wir gerade nicht über Schriftsprache reden, sollte in einem Sprachforum doch auch ausgeschrieben werden dürfen, oder?

    #16Author reverend (314585) 28 Mar 23, 13:36

    Da gibt es genug zartbesaitete Seelen hier, die bei der Lektüre eines solchen umgangssprachlichen Worts ganz verdrehte Schlübbers kriegen 😉

    #17Author B.L.Z. Bubb (601295) 28 Mar 23, 14:13

    Verstehe ich nicht. Was ist so schlimm an "verarmt" und "in den Arm gekniffen"? *ratlosguck*

    #18Author Möwe [de] (534573) 28 Mar 23, 14:37
 ­ automatisch zu ­ ­ umgewandelt