The LINGUA FRANCA Sprachschule blog wishes you a happy Monday morning from a wet and grey Berlin. Today’s idiom is one I hope not too many of you have had to experience directly.
My aunt phoned me yesterday. She was very excited because she had received an email from a very nice Nigerian millionaire who needed her help getting his fortune out of the country. In return for the $500 he needed to set up a foreign bank account he would pay her $250,000. I had to tell her that it was a trick. There was no millionaire, just a scammer trying to take her for a ride (reinlegen).
To hear an example of this idiom in use, have a look at the following from the BBC Learning English team:
The origin of this idiom is even more sinister and criminal than what you can find in the examples above. It comes from the American gangster underworld of the 20s and 30s. If a gang was unhappy with you for some reason, you would be invited to „take a ride“ in a car with a couple of their members to „discuss“ the problems you were having. Normally that was the last anyone saw of you. Maybe the police would find your body some days or weeks later. Maybe not.