Real English® Blog Feed

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Let 'er rip!

Haiyen asked a question
hi real English your website is very interesting.its help me a the way can you tell me the meaning of the phrase 'let it rip' that i saw in a film.thanks so much 
Hi Haiyen – There are several meanings of “rip”. I know the probable meaning, but it all depends on the CONTEXT (the context includes the words just before or/and after "Let it rip!" ; the context is also the general circumstances - it's the setting – when you say that you saw it in a movie, that gives us a very small bit of the context).

As you can see at the Free Dictionary, “rip” has about 10 meanings when used as a verb. The most common meaning is “to tear” (for example, to cut something roughly, with your hands). But one of the meanings marked “INFORMAL” is “to move quickly or violently”. Imagine a film where 2 actors blow up a bridge. They have explosives at 10 different points and set them off all at the same time. Just before the explosion, one actor says “Let it rip”. This is a slang lexical item. “Let it rip” can be used just before ANY violent or VERY SPECIAL  (usually rough) action that one causes to take place.

In the USA, we have a tendency to also say Let 'er rip!. The 'er is "her" I suppose, like a ship to her captain & sailors.


  1. For me, "Let it rip" usually means fart

    TEFLtastic blog-