"They was trying to hand me out a flyer."

Damien Hall D.Hall at KENT.AC.UK
Mon Jul 11 16:39:52 UTC 2011

What does this sentence mean?  By which I mean, in BrE it would be perfectly acceptable in a meaning like 'They were trying to hand me a handbill advertisement'.  But what was the strangeness that made you post it, Wilson?

- The indirect object pronoun in the midst of a phrasal verb?

- The use of 'flyer' to mean something it doesn't usually mean ('fly-ball'?)

- The use of 'hand out' to mean 'pitch', if 'flyer' does in fact mean 'fly-ball'?

I'm serious - you wouldn't have posted the sentence if it hadn't been somehow strange, but I honestly don't know what strangeness you meant!



Damien Hall

University of Kent (UK)
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, 'Towards a New Linguistic Atlas of France'

English Language and Linguistics, School of European Culture and Languages

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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