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 heard AP Radio News reporting Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich won the endorsement of New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, which can reset the going of presidential race. The news was aired via AFN Tokyo at 7:00 am (Tokyo time), Monday.

I think I heard:

“Republican presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich wins the endorsement of New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, which passed over front runner, Mitt Romney for the nod. The New Hampshire Union Leader’s editorial potentially resets the race in the state with its first-in-the nation primary.”

What does “pass over somebody for the nod - the newspaper passed over Mitt Romney for the nod” mean? Is this popular phrase?

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

I don't believe that "pass over somebody for the nod" is the phrase.

Here "pass over somebody" is a phrase, meaning they ignored him, and "for the nod" means giving him an affirmative vote.

"which passed over front runner, Mitt Romney for the nod" = "they ignored the front runner Mitt Romney when giving their support (nod)"

share|improve this answer
add comment

A number of references say that to give the nod is to give permission for something to happen. This comes from the fact that a nod of the head is a gesture of approval.

In a sense, that applies in this case. However, a nod of the head (toward something) is also a gesture of indication, similar to pointing at something. A person may indicate their choice between two or more options by nodding at the one they choose.

To pass over someone or something is

  1. to skip over someone or something; to fail to select someone or something

The Union Leader has given the nod to Newt Gingrich, meaning they have chosen him as the candidate they will endorse for the Republican presidential nomination. In doing so, they passed over Mitt Romney, even though he had been the front runner.

share|improve this answer
1  
"Getting the nod" is also a colloquial term for being offered a job position. –  Polynomial Dec 1 '11 at 11:09
add comment

To "pass over somebody" usually refers to a promotion. That is, the "obvious candidate" or "front runner" doesn't get the promotion, which instead, goes to a lesser known person.

In this case, New Hampshire's largest paper doesn't exactly "promote" people to candidacy status (the voters do). But it can influence votes by giving candidates support (or not), otherwise referred to as a "nod." In this case, the paper (the most conservative in the U.S.) did NOT give its support to the front runner, Mitt Romney, but rather to its "favorite son," the conservative Newt Gingrich.

share|improve this answer
add 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.