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What's the meaning of pushing it?

Is a 19 year old too young for a 28 year old?

Yeah 9 years is kinda pushing it, 'specially when the delta is like half her life.

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closed as general reference by RegDwigнt Jul 2 '12 at 10:03

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Please consult a dictionary of your choice first, e.g. Wiktionary. You might also wish to support our proposed spin-off targeted specifically at English language learners. – RegDwigнt Jul 2 '12 at 10:05
up vote 3 down vote accepted

As Memming said, the idiom derives from pushing the limit, or trying to go beyond a limit.

But I don't think this makes its metaphorical meaning clear. It is always used to mean hoping or pretending that something will work or fit or be acceptable when really it won't.

So here it means pretending or hoping that an age difference of 9 years will work, but the speaker is suggesting that in reality 9 years is too much.

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It means pushing the limit. In your example, trying to force the limit of age difference as if there were a barrier.

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I suspect that pushing the limit is itself an idiom which is not necessarily clear to people whose first language is not English. – Colin Fine Jul 2 '12 at 9:56

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