Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I came across the phrase “I’ll jam down their throats” in the following sentence of the Reuters’ article (June 30 issue) dealing with the Davis Cup, titled “Pat Rafter Wary of 'Awkward Chinese.'”

Our biggest problem is if we are complacent and we take them easy," he said. "That will be the one thing that I will jam down their throats—they will be very tough.

In search for the meaning of the phrase, I found a similar phrase, “jam one’s belief down someone’s throat” in the following example. .

I mean, vegetarians and vegans don't try to moralize or jam their beliefs down everyone else’s' throats, right?—www.foodaq.com/html/General/44813.html.

What does “jam down something one’s throat” mean? Does it mean to force someone to swallow (accept) something or surrender to someone? Is this a popular phrase?

share|improve this question
    
@Kiamalauluno. Is 'Jam down stg, one's throught' a well-worn colloqual? –  Yoichi Oishi Jun 30 '11 at 9:39
1  
Yoichi, I believe "ram it down his throat" is, I think, more popular than "jam it down his throat." Both just mean forcing someone to agree with your ideas. –  Joe Blow Jun 30 '11 at 16:14
    
It is also said / written "cram it down his throat" –  TecBrat Aug 18 '12 at 19:47
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Jamming into one's throat means to make absolutely sure the person hears you and cooperates with whatever you're jamming into his throat.

So the captain, Pat Rafter, is saying that he'll make absolutely sure his team gets the message that they can't afford to be complacent when playing against the Chinese. They've got to be tough, or they won't win.

And the point made in the other example is that most vegan/vegetarians don't force their views on everyone else, or even look down on others, as some people seem to think.

If you're planning to use this expression, consider a more common form: "shove down one's throat". This NGram illustrates that "shove down his throat", though rare, exists; whereas "jam into his throat" does not even appear. (The same goes for "their throats", and, I assume, all other forms.)

share|improve this answer
add comment

To "jam" is force into.

To jam something down a person's throat, is to force a notion, or idea into somebody. It is to force someone to agree with your idea.

So, in your excerpt, Pat Rafter is saying that he needs to force "them" to understand that their biggest problem is to become complacent and take the opponents easy.

This is backed up by your second excerpt, in which the author is saying that vegetarians and vegans don't go around trying to force everyone to become a vegetarian or vegan.

share|improve this answer
    
@Ham and Bacon. Is 'Jam down stg, one's throught' a well-worn colloqual? –  Yoichi Oishi Jun 30 '11 at 9:40
    
Depends what a well-worn colloquial is... I've seen it used quite a bit though. –  Thursagen Jun 30 '11 at 9:42
    
@Can I say 'Jam down stg. one's mouth" instead of "throat"? –  Yoichi Oishi Jun 30 '11 at 9:52
    
Nah... It's specifically throat. –  Thursagen Jun 30 '11 at 9:57
    
@Yoichi Oishi: the phrase would be "Jam something down one's throat". It is not a phrasal verb "jam down", but a simple verb with a prepositional phrase "down x's throat". And like Joe Blow, I would say "ram" rather than "jam". –  Colin Fine Jun 30 '11 at 16:23
show 1 more comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.