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I have a movie (The wolf of wall street) I'm translating (subtitling) with the dialog below, and I really don't have a clue what this pass is about. I'd appreciate a help understanding it.

-I'm not gonna give you a fuckin' pass, just give me the case.

-Oh, you're not gonna give me a pass?

-Get out of here. Look, it's a figure fuckin' speech.

-Oh my God, the Emperor of Foxville

-Just give me the fuckin' case

-came down from Foxville to give me a pass!

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You might have asked this on English Language Learners – but we'll give you a pass this time ;^) – J.R. Jan 18 '14 at 3:01
@J.R. Why so this time? :) – Kris Jan 18 '14 at 6:39
@Kris I checked your reference link, and it's no great shakes. Who is this "authority" that proves the meaning of the idiom is the one given? I much prefer Susan's answer, in addition her examples are better and clearer than the ones provided on your link. – Mari-Lou A Jan 18 '14 at 13:17
up vote 4 down vote accepted

AFAIK, to give someone a pass means to be granted a reprieve from something bad; "given a pass"; forgiven for one's sins or indiscretions. prior uses of pass late 13c. to go by (something), to cross over, from Latin passare "to step, walk, pass" is attested from c.1300. Not known when usage of example came into language.

  • He could have said a lot of other things in response. Things like snap out of it, or that doesn’t give you a right to flip out... But instead, he gave me a pass. Full fledged acceptance of my condition which allowed me to be sad without having to explain it or justify it or apologize for it. He didn’t have to do it. Lord knows he doesn’t always get a pass from me.

  • I do try to be very careful where I step- But I missed this rattler, and only the noise he was making gave me a chance to avoid it. The snake a least 5 foot long, 13 or so rattles, and very thick. However, he gave me a pass [the snake didn't bite him], and I get another chance to ride.

  • I got pulled over by a state trooper my second year of business and was missing a couple [MSDS sheets]. He started off as a ballbreaker checking each and every chemical. He gave me a pass when I pulled up the sheets on my phone and proved the chems were non volatile.

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-1 Always substantiate your "answer" with a canonical reference. Opinions, are more appropriate in the form of comments, not answers. The OP's question is essentially GR, suffers only from lack of homework. – Kris Jan 18 '14 at 6:38
@Kris do you downvote every single answer that doesn't have a direct link to a source? I don't think you do. Is the user's years of experience and proven knowledge (see Susan's high rep) on the English language not itself some form of guarantee? If not, you should, in keeping with your justification, downvote about 1/5 (my rough estimation) of all the answers posted on ELU. – Mari-Lou A Jan 18 '14 at 13:08
cont'd. While you're at it, you had better downvote Jon Hanna's post on this question, and Stoney's answer here too, both are without a "canonical reference". – Mari-Lou A Jan 18 '14 at 13:08
@Mari-LouA The more that people vote on a post, the more certain future visitors can be of the quality of information contained within that post -- english.stackexchange.com/help/why-vote – Kris Jan 18 '14 at 13:51

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