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What does “show some (a little) leg” mean in common understanding?

The information you quote from www.wordreference and www.englishforums. com is correct in describing common usage of show some leg or show a little leg. Claudette Colbert - leg

The picture above, from It Happened One Night (1934), illustrates a classic example of showing a little leg as a hitchhiking device. Clark Gable brags about his skill at thumbing a ride; lots of cars go by without slowing down at all. Then Claudette Colbert shows some leg and the driver of a passing car brakes as fast as he can and gives Gable and Colbert a lift.

The idiom or imagery in Dowd's sentence probably is easily understood by a large fraction of the US public, and perhaps by other English speakers as well. However, Dowd's sentence has problems: It says Holder is trying to appear benign to put pressure on Sterling, which seems to be a self-contradictory statement. That apparent self-contradiction makes the sentence hard to understand, at least during the first dozen times one reads it.

Does [show some (a little) leg] mean to tempt a desired reaction from the other, or to reveal one’s real intention? Is it a common phrase?

It ordinarily is understood as temptation, rather than as a way of revealing one’s real intention, although when Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate shows some leg, it both reveals her intention and acts as a temptation.

Ngrams for show some leg,show a little leg suggests both phrases have greatly increased in popularity since the 1980's1980s, so proper understanding of the phrases probably is widespread.

What does “show some (a little) leg” mean in common understanding?

The information you quote from www.wordreference and www.englishforums. com is correct in describing common usage of show some leg or show a little leg. Claudette Colbert - leg

The picture above, from It Happened One Night (1934), illustrates a classic example of showing a little leg as a hitchhiking device. Clark Gable brags about his skill at thumbing a ride; lots of cars go by without slowing down at all. Then Claudette Colbert shows some leg and the driver of a passing car brakes as fast as he can and gives Gable and Colbert a lift.

The idiom or imagery in Dowd's sentence probably is easily understood by a large fraction of the US public, and perhaps by other English speakers as well. However, Dowd's sentence has problems: It says Holder is trying to appear benign to put pressure on Sterling, which seems to be a self-contradictory statement. That apparent self-contradiction makes the sentence hard to understand, at least during the first dozen times one reads it.

Does [show some (a little) leg] mean to tempt a desired reaction from the other, or to reveal one’s real intention? Is it a common phrase?

It ordinarily is understood as temptation, rather than as a way of revealing one’s real intention, although when Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate shows some leg, it both reveals her intention and acts as a temptation.

Ngrams for show some leg,show a little leg suggests both phrases have greatly increased in popularity since the 1980's, so proper understanding of the phrases probably is widespread.

What does “show some (a little) leg” mean in common understanding?

The information you quote from www.wordreference and www.englishforums. com is correct in describing common usage of show some leg or show a little leg. Claudette Colbert - leg

The picture above, from It Happened One Night (1934), illustrates a classic example of showing a little leg as a hitchhiking device. Clark Gable brags about his skill at thumbing a ride; lots of cars go by without slowing down at all. Then Claudette Colbert shows some leg and the driver of a passing car brakes as fast as he can and gives Gable and Colbert a lift.

The idiom or imagery in Dowd's sentence probably is easily understood by a large fraction of the US public, and perhaps by other English speakers as well. However, Dowd's sentence has problems: It says Holder is trying to appear benign to put pressure on Sterling, which seems to be a self-contradictory statement. That apparent self-contradiction makes the sentence hard to understand, at least during the first dozen times one reads it.

Does [show some (a little) leg] mean to tempt a desired reaction from the other, or to reveal one’s real intention? Is it a common phrase?

It ordinarily is understood as temptation, rather than as a way of revealing one’s real intention, although when Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate shows some leg, it both reveals her intention and acts as a temptation.

Ngrams for show some leg,show a little leg suggests both phrases have greatly increased in popularity since the 1980s, so proper understanding of the phrases probably is widespread.

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What does “show some (a little) leg” mean in common understanding?

The information you quote from www.wordreference and www.englishforums. com is correct in describing common usage of show some leg or show a little leg. Claudette Colbert - leg

The picture above, from It Happened One Night (1934), isillustrates a classic example of showing a little leg as a hitchhiking device. Clark Gable brags about his skill at thumbing a ride; lots of cars go by without slowing down at all. Then Claudette Colbert shows some leg and the driver of a passing car brakes as fast as he can and gives Gable and Colbert a lift.

The idiom or imagery in Dowd's sentence probably is easily understood by a large fraction of the US public, and perhaps by other English speakers as well. However, Dowd's sentence has problems: It says Holder is trying to appear benign to put pressure on Sterling, which seems to be a self-contradictory statement. That apparent self-contradiction makes the sentence hard to understand, at least during the first dozen times one reads it.

Does [show some (a little) leg] mean to tempt a desired reaction from the other, or to reveal one’s real intention? Is it a common phrase?

It ordinarily is understood as temptation, rather than as a way of revealing one’s real intention, although when Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate shows some leg, it both reveals her intention and acts as a temptation.

Ngrams for show some leg,show a little leg suggests both phrases have greatly increased in popularity since the 1980's, so proper understanding of the phrases probably is widespread.

What does “show some (a little) leg” mean in common understanding?

The information you quote from www.wordreference and www.englishforums. com is correct in describing common usage of show some leg or show a little leg. Claudette Colbert - leg

The picture above, from It Happened One Night, is a classic example of showing a little leg as a hitchhiking device. Clark Gable brags about his skill at thumbing a ride; lots of cars go by without slowing down at all. Then Claudette Colbert shows some leg and the driver of a passing car brakes as fast as he can and gives Gable and Colbert a lift.

The idiom or imagery in Dowd's sentence probably is easily understood by a large fraction of the US public, and perhaps by other English speakers as well. However, Dowd's sentence has problems: It says Holder is trying to appear benign to put pressure on Sterling, which seems to be a self-contradictory statement. That apparent self-contradiction makes the sentence hard to understand, at least during the first dozen times one reads it.

What does “show some (a little) leg” mean in common understanding?

The information you quote from www.wordreference and www.englishforums. com is correct in describing common usage of show some leg or show a little leg. Claudette Colbert - leg

The picture above, from It Happened One Night (1934), illustrates a classic example of showing a little leg as a hitchhiking device. Clark Gable brags about his skill at thumbing a ride; lots of cars go by without slowing down at all. Then Claudette Colbert shows some leg and the driver of a passing car brakes as fast as he can and gives Gable and Colbert a lift.

The idiom or imagery in Dowd's sentence probably is easily understood by a large fraction of the US public, and perhaps by other English speakers as well. However, Dowd's sentence has problems: It says Holder is trying to appear benign to put pressure on Sterling, which seems to be a self-contradictory statement. That apparent self-contradiction makes the sentence hard to understand, at least during the first dozen times one reads it.

Does [show some (a little) leg] mean to tempt a desired reaction from the other, or to reveal one’s real intention? Is it a common phrase?

It ordinarily is understood as temptation, rather than as a way of revealing one’s real intention, although when Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate shows some leg, it both reveals her intention and acts as a temptation.

Ngrams for show some leg,show a little leg suggests both phrases have greatly increased in popularity since the 1980's, so proper understanding of the phrases probably is widespread.

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source | link

What does “show some (a little) leg” mean in common understanding?

The information you quote from www.wordreference and www.englishforums. com is correct in describing common usage of show some leg or show a little leg. Claudette Colbert - leg

The picture above, from It Happened One Night, is a classic example of showing a little leg as a hitchhiking device. Clark Gable brags about his skill at thumbing a ride; lots of cars go by without slowing down at all. Then Claudette Colbert shows some leg and the driver of a passing car brakes as fast as he can and gives Gable and Colbert a lift.

The idiom or imagery in Dowd's sentence probably is easily understood by a large fraction of the US public, and perhaps by other English speakers as well. However, Dowd's sentence has problems: It says Holder is trying to appear benign to put pressure on Sterling, which seems to be a self-contradictory statement. That apparent self-contradiction makes the sentence hard to understand, at least during the first dozen times one reads it.