Weigh in

Weigh in is an idiom that dates back decades. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom weigh in, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Weigh in is an idiom that means to bring one’s influence to bear in a discussion or argument. The idiom weigh in first came into use in the 1880s to mean to present something significant; by the first decade of the 1900s, the idiom weigh in came to mean to bring one’s influence to bear or to make a knowledgeable contribution to a discussion or argument. The expression comes from the sport of horse racing, where a jockey must weigh in. Related terms are weighs in, weighed in, weighing in. Weigh in is a verbal phrase that may also may be taken literally. Do not confuse the idiom weigh in with the hyphenated compound word, weigh-in, which is a noun that means the act of being weighed in preparation for an athletic contest or boarding a flight.

Examples

School funding plaintiffs ask NC Supreme Court to weigh in (Durham Herald Sun)

The public will have a chance to weigh in on two conditional district rezoning requests during public hearings scheduled for Monday. (Daily Reflector)

Citizens weigh in as Toledo continues to seek answers for homicide rate (Toledo Blade)

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