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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

To gobble (something) up/down

Context #1:

Kirk: We gotta leave soon if we're going to make the play.
Jake: I just made dinner.
Kirk: Then let's gobble it up; we have to leave in 10 minutes.
Jake: Ugh. I shouldn't have bothered making anything nice.
Kirk: Sorry, but I told you we had these tickets for tonight.
Jake: I know.

Meaning: The word "gobble" is an English onomatopoeia that is used to describe the sound a turkey makes (Onomatopoeias are words like "bark" and "bang" that imitate sounds). But the expression "gobble up" means to eat very quickly, usually because the person is in a hurry or very hungry.  In the above example, Kirk says they need to "gobble up" their dinner because they need to leave for a play. Paradoxically, "Gobble" can be used with the prepositions "up" or "down" and have the exact same meaning, as in this next example:

Context #2:

Jean: This birthday party is a disaster!
Will: Why? The kids seem to be having fun.
Jean: I just put out the pizza, and they gobbled it all down in 5 minutes. They want more, but that's everything I ordered.
Will: Can't you order more?
Jean: It'll take at least half an hour to get here.
Will: Well, let's serve the cake then. Maybe they'll fill up on that.

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