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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 7th, 2018, 01:44 pm
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Default fair game

Hi,

1. What does 'fair game' mean here?

"It's all fair game if they even think they can trace it to ill-gotten games."

2. What does 'flip on someone' mean?

"Ted is still at large and they want John to flip on him."

Thank you very much.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 8th, 2018, 04:48 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: fair game

1. Fair game

"Game" = animals shot for sport or food. Eg someone who hunts lions and other large predators is known as a "big game hunter". Obviously there are strict regulations for hunting - seasons when you can and can't hunt certain animals, regulations concerning whether the animal must be male or female, what age it must have reached etc. So if something is "fair game" it means that you are hunting it legally, following the rules.

The expression is generally used metaphorically, as in your example. As another example, if a politician has made pre-election promises which were not kept after the election, then s/he is "fair game" for criticism by the opposition, the media etc - ie they have the right (=it's fair) to attack (=hunt) him/her.

Notice that you've misquoted the final expression in your example. It should be "ill-gotten gains". "ill" is used in its old meaning of "badly", so "ill-gotten gains" are things that have been acquired illegally or unfairly in some way.

You don't give the source, but I traced it to an episode of Desperate Housewives (oh, the wonders of Google!). One of the characters (Gabrielle) is talking to her lawyer who seems to be explaining that another character (her husband?) intends to take her to court and claim the right to all her money/possessions (ie her "gains"). She is saying that, in fact, they were all legally acquired by her (ie are "fair game") even if her husband's lawyers will claim that they are not legally hers but "ill-gotten".

2. Ted is still at large and they want John to flip on him

First of all, you need to understand that "at large" means still free, and not yet arrested by the police. A criminal might be "at large" because the police can't find him/her or, as it seems in this case, because they don't have the proof necessary for the arrest. That's why they want John to "flip on" him - ie to betray him and give them the evidence they need to arrest him.

Hope that's all clear.
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Last edited by susan53 : Dec 8th, 2018 at 10:27 am.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 9th, 2018, 04:11 pm
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Default Re: fair game

Hi susan,

After reading your reply, I'm afraid I'm still confused about 'fair game' in that context. I'm sorry I didn't give you the source in the first place and sorry about the typo (ill-gotten games). Here is more context quoted from the internet as follows:

"FBI:FBI. Open the door.Carlos Solis, I have a warrant for your arrest.

Judge Sullivan: "So, what's your issue with bail in this case, Ms. McCready?
Ms. McCready: "We want bail denied, your honor. The defendant's company imported goods manufactured by slave labor, and his business partner, Mr. Tenaka, has already fled the country. And Mr. Solis, himself, has refused to surrender his passport."

Judge Sullivan: "Dog ate your client's passport, Mr. Hartley?"
Mr. Hartley: "It's been temporarily misplaced, your honor, but we maintain that Akisha Tenaka set up and executed the entire operation. Mr. Solis is no business partner, but merely a hired contractor. And I'd also like to point out that my client is the sole provider of his wife, and his mother, who is hospitalized in a coma as we speak."

Judge Sullivan: "Bring me the passport, and Mr. Solis can visit his mother. Until then, your client is denied bail and remanded. What's next?"。

Gabrielle: "Yao Lin, listen to me. It's very important that we find Carlos' passport. I've already looked through his office, so I need you to search the bedroom."
Gabrielle: "What?"
Yao Lin: "With Mr. Solis in jail, how are you going to pay me? I have children."
Gabrielle: "Yao Lin, your kids are in their twenties. If it'll make you shut up..."
Gabrielle: "Here. Three weeks in advance."

Yao Lin: "If you don't mind, can I call your bank?"
Gabrielle: "Yao Lin, don't be stupid. People don't become poor overnight."
Gabrielle: "Huh? That's my car! Oh my god!"
Gabrielle: "Hey! Hey! What are you doing? Where are you taking my car?"
Tow guy: "The government is impounding it. Here's your receipt. Call that number if you have any questions."

Gabrielle: "How am I supposed to live without a car?"
Lawyer: "Gabrielle, listen. Tanaka is still at large, and they're going to want Carlos to flip on him, so this is their way of playing hardball. Now, I'm guessing that they've not done yet."

Gabrielle: "Why? What else could they take from us?"
Lawyer: "Pretty much anything. It's all fair game if they even think they can trace it to ill-gotten gains

Gabrielle: "No, no, no. No! Some of this stuff is mine. When I modeled. Before I even met Carlos! See this, kosta boda, bought it when I landed my first cover. This, I spent eight hours on a rock in a bikini for that painting!"

Lawyer: "I understand how you feel."
Gabrielle: "No, you don't understand. I have dug myself up from dirt to afford these things, and no one is going to take them away from me!"
Lawyer: "Then I suggest you find yourself a good hiding place. They can't take what they can't find. Oh, and if you could scare up that passport too, that would be good!"

Thank you very much for your detailed explanation.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 10th, 2018, 03:18 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: fair game

It's the same as I said except that the context suggests that it's the police / other authorities rather than her husband who are trying to take things. They've impounded her car - claiming that her husband Carlos is Tanaka's business partner and is therefore implicated in his crimes. If he doesn't co-operate (flip on Tanaka) they are liable to start impounding other things - the family's house, bank account, whatever. The lawyer is explaining that the police see it all as "fair game" - ie things they can rightfully take from Carlos as all the things have been acquired illegally (are ill-gotten gains). But of course if they do, it will affect his wife, Gabrielle, which is why she's worrying.

The only odd thing about the sentence is "even if" which would make much more sense if it was "given that". A slip in the filming that wasn't noticed maybe.
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Last edited by susan53 : Yesterday at 02:21 am.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 16th, 2018, 03:36 pm
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Default Re: fair game

Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
First of all, you need to understand that "at large" means still free, and not yet arrested by the police. A criminal might be "at large" as it seems in this case, because they don't have the proof necessary for the arrest. That's why they want John to "flip on" him - ie to betray him and give them the evidence they need to arrest him.

Hope that's all clear.
Hi susan,

Can I use 'on the run' in the context above because the police don't have the proof necessary they need to arrest him?

Thanks a lot.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Yesterday, 02:21 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: fair game

No - because if the police don't have the necessary proof for to arrest a specific person, then there is no reason for the suspect to be "hiding". If I say "the criminal is still at large" it means either
a) The police don't know who the criminal is (or can't prove it even if they suspect) and therefore no specific individual is implicated. They just know that there is a criminal and s/he is still free.
or
b) The police know who the criminal is and have enough proof for the arrest, but can't find the person. S/he is "on the run"
So, as I said, "at large" can be used in both contexts, but "on the run" is more specific and restricted to the second situation.
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