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  • Betreff

    Have at it!

    Kontext/ Beispiele
    might be the same as "Have a got at it" = Versuch's doch mal (?)
    Verfasserpluckerwank04 Nov. 06, 18:04
    Vorschlaggo for it
    Kontext/ Beispiele
    have at it (to a dog,for example) = attack
    I think in the case here it means the same as GO FOR IT

    could mean various things, depending on context
    #1Verfassermanja (248376) 04 Nov. 06, 18:08
    @pluckerwank: it's "Have a GO at it", not have a goT at it... might have been a typo on your part, but I just wanted to make sure you knew that ;-)
    #2VerfasserJ_A (239922) 04 Nov. 06, 19:03
    Vorschlagsich in etwas verbeißen
    I saw that definition from "getting stuck into" something. I also think of it as somehow attacking something, not holding back, going all in. Sometimes in the context of food, sometimes the context of motivating someone for a difficult, exciting task. Definitely slang, but also in at least my British English, not just American.

    "You didn't finish your steak - is it up for grabs?"
    "Have at it mate"

    "I gotta finish this essay for next week, I never did something on this topic before"
    "Have at it, you'll do great"
    #3VerfasserRichard_23 (1333368)  07 Sep. 22, 02:27

    Have at it!

    I've never heard that – is it perhaps specifically British or American?

    #4Verfasser Stravinsky (637051) 07 Sep. 22, 07:48
    #5Verfasser B.L.Z. Bubb (601295) 07 Sep. 22, 08:37

    I know the expression in the sense of „knock yourself out.”

    E.g., person A is trying to open a recalcitrant jam jar; person B says, “can I try?”, and person A replies: “Sure, have at it.” Meaning, “nur zu, tob dich aus.”

    (@ #4: I'm most familiar with Canadian English.)

    #6Verfasserredcranes (766941)  07 Sep. 22, 13:20

    have at: to go at or deal with ATTACK

    like two boxers having at each other

    have at you

    (dated) An exclamation indicating that one is about to strike the person addressed, typically with a sword or other hand-held weapon.

    [quotations ]

    -Dark and sinister man, have at thee. Barrie JM (1904), Peter Pan.

    have at (someone or something)

    1. To strike or attack someone or something.

    The two boys had at each other until the teacher arrived to break up the fight.

    2. To attempt or try to do something.

    Now that finals are over, I need to have at cleaning up my room.

    3. To do something with energy and enthusiasm.

    It didn't take long for the kids to have at the cupcakes I'd set out.

    If you want to paint, have at it! All the supplies are still out.


    • "Have at you now!" — Hamlet
    • "Have at you with a proverb [...] Have at you with another;" — Comedy of Errors
    • "Have at you!" — Henry VIII
    • "Have at you, then, affection's men at arms." — Love's Labour's Lost
    • "Then have at you with my wit!" — Romeo and Juliet
    • "since you have begun, / Have at you for a bitter jest or two." — Taming of the Shrew
    • "Come, both you cogging Greeks; have at you both!" — Troilus and Cressida.


    #4 - To my knowledge, neither specifically American or specifically British. Maybe a little dated though. The original sense seems to have been "attack", particularly to initiate an attack, e.g. "Have at you, knave!" or "Have at 'em, men!"

    The senses "to make an attempt" and "to do with energy and enthusiasm" are probably later derivatives.

    #8Verfasser covellite (520987) 08 Sep. 22, 09:47
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