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This is a comment made on a discussion on a roadrage incident,

Anyone attacks me in traffic while I'm on my bike, I'm beating the f-ck out of them with my gloves on.

What does he mean by "with my gloves on"? I looked it up and I found that there's an idiom the gloves are off, which is,

used to say that somebody is ready for a fight or an argument

or, with the gloves off meaning

With or ready to dispense rough treatment.

But with the gloves on does he mean he will beat the attacker not as roughly, or unexpectedly? What does he mean?

Edit:

This is the actual full comment:

Wonder if you could have pulled a gun on that guy and watch him sh-t himself. Anyone attacks me in traffic while I'm on my bike, I'm beating the f-ck out of them with my gloves on.

And the comment was made based on this video of the incident.

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After seeing the video, my interpretation of the commentor's use of "with my gloves on" is to mean that he would literally start beating the other guy with his riding gloves on. As @batpigandme said, it could imply the gloves may have some hardware that would inflict some serious damage but it would be total speculation to say that was what the commentor meant. To my knowledge, "with gloves on", in that usage, is not idiomatic and does not have any meaning beyond the literal meaning. –  Kristina Lopez May 12 '13 at 18:16
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If meant as an idiom, I would say that the phrase was an error as it would seem to indicate that the person would be acting antithetically to how one would act with their gloves off, which, as you noted, would essentially mean that they would be fighting them in a fair manner in hopes of inflicting minimal damage (since the gloves are off phrase comes from boxing wherein gloves are used by regulation to protect both fighters).

Two possible alternatives:

  • I've heard gloves on used to mean that someone is ready to go/good to go
  • This could have nothing to do with established idioms. Motorcycle gloves are often armored with hard material on the knuckles to protect the rider. In this case, then, getting hit with gloves on would be especially painful...
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+1 I think this is entirely literal and unidiomatic, as per your second alternative. –  Andrew Leach May 12 '13 at 18:27
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I agree @AndrewLeach- there is no mistake in the phrase. The speaker is definitely talking about his motorcycle gloves' ability to inflict more pain. –  Jim May 12 '13 at 19:34
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