The phrase "a kick at the can" refers to making an attempt at something or giving something a try, even if just for the sake of trying. When someone says they want to take "a kick at the can" at something, they want to give it a shot and see what happens, just for the experience, even if the likelihood of success is slim.
"A kick at the can" signifies an opportunity or an attempt to accomplish something.
"A kick at the can" generally means giving something another try or taking another opportunity to achieve a goal. It implies you have a new chance to succeed at something you've attempted.
The phrase “a kick at the can” is an idiom primarily heard in Canada. It seems to be a variation or misparsing of "Another kick at the can (or tin)," for which printed references date back to 1909. The phrase is related to children's games in Orkney, where they would "Kick the tinnie."
The phrase "kick the can down the road" is more commonly discussed and originated in the U.S. Congress around the mid-1980s. It refers to delaying a decision or action. This phrase is believed to have roots in a game played during the Great Depression, where children would kick a tin can down the road due to a lack of access to other games.
Sadly, the Department has chosen to kick the can down the road yet again by choosing to build an $8.5 billion program and spread its funding over 2 fiscal years.
- Organization, Structure, and Decisionmaking Procedures of the ..., Part 1, 1983
Understanding an idiom becomes easier when we see it in action.
Here are ten sentences that demonstrate the varied use of the idiom:
These examples highlight the versatility of the idiom, showcasing its use in various situations and contexts.
Idioms often find their way into popular culture- movies, songs, or literature. Here are some instances where the idiom has made its mark:
These examples from pop culture underscore the idiom's widespread recognition and its resonance with themes of opportunity and redemption.
Idioms often have equivalents or similar expressions in the English language.
Here are some alternative sayings:
These expressions, like "a kick at the can," emphasize the idea of getting an opportunity or making an attempt at something.
The idiom generally refers to an opportunity or attempt to achieve something or solve a problem.
The exact origin is unclear, but it's believed to be derived from the idea of kicking a can down the road, symbolizing an attempt or effort.
For example: "I'd like to have another kick at the can to prove my skills in the next competition."
Yes, it's a fairly common idiom in English, especially in contexts where someone wants another opportunity or attempt.
Some people might say "a kick at the bucket" or "another shot at it," but "a kick at the can" is the most recognized version.
While it's more casual in nature, it can be used in formal contexts, provided the audience is familiar with its meaning.
Many languages have idioms that convey the idea of a second chance or another attempt, though the exact phrasing and imagery might differ.
Like many idioms, its usage might have shifted slightly, but the core meaning of seeking another opportunity remains consistent.
While it's commonly understood in English-speaking countries, its recognition might vary in regions where English is not the primary language.
Engaging with native speakers, reading diverse literature, and context-based learning are effective ways to grasp idioms and their nuances.
The beauty of language lies in its idioms and expressions, which often capture profound meanings in just a few words. "A kick at the can" is no exception. It's a testament to the human spirit's resilience, hope, and desire for opportunities.
Using such idioms enriches our conversations in everyday language, making them more colorful and meaningful. "A kick at the can" is a beautiful reminder that opportunities are precious, and we should cherish and make the most of them.