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What's the actual meaning to "throw down something" as in "His offer was thrown down"?

Is it the same as saying "His offer was rejected", or is it like saying that the offer was made for consideration?

The definition given by FOE is [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/throw%20down)

But, please consider the definition given by MW source, plus these sourced examples:

US investment bank Goldman Sachs today threw down an offer of 810p a share source>/

My MIL offered before I left to do a Skype shower with her family and I threw down the idea because I thought it would be awkward. source

It was raining, as it did most of the time. We were on the Sumshine Coast, so Gus threw down the idea of hitting "the pub" for tea. source

I immediately threw down the offer to write a review... source

I didn't want to force him so I threw down the offer that when we were done we were going out for ice creams! source

There was a low sound of impatience from the person at the writing table, and a rustle of paper as the plan was thrown down. source

Another idea was thrown down. The idea was from Ron Clements. source

Instead they threw down their offer.source

...he was a stiff and threw down my offer instantly.source

The offer was thrown down and the old bark taken to Clifton to tie up for the winter. source

Some of the aldermen, it said, are in favor of the plan to add a story to the building, which plan was thrown down by the council. source

When mankind wished to build a tower to reach the heavens where God was, their project was thrown down. source

If this project was thrown down at a Staff Meeting... source

closed as primarily opinion-based by TimLymington, user98990, tchrist, FumbleFingers, Chenmunka Jul 11 '15 at 19:34

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Yet again, you seem to be ferreting out rare instances of non-standard usages and bringing them here to ask if they're valid. What is the point? – FumbleFingers Mar 5 '14 at 0:13
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    NG, You have the most impressive google-fu I've ever witnessed. I need to learn this. Having said that, please take the use of language on blog sites and such with a grain of salt. That last one? No preacher or believer I've ever heard has said those words. – anongoodnurse Mar 5 '14 at 3:21
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    What @Susan said. NG - it must take even you some trouble to find these examples, and I don't see how you can avoid noticing how much more often your search terms throw up different senses (i.e. - more "standard" senses). Consider also the context in which you come across usages. Casual words thrown together on blogs and chat sites are not reliable indicators. – FumbleFingers Mar 5 '14 at 3:26
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    NG: Your link just takes me to a Google Books page in Spanish trying to sell me a copy of The Essential Guide to Warfare: Star Wars - THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO THE ULTIMATE INTERGALACTIC BATTLEFIELD (Pub 2012). It's almost certainly drivel, if the title is anything to go by, but I can't find the text in my Google Books search. That finds me 10 results for order was thrown down, none of which remotely correspond to your sought-for meaning. Give up. – FumbleFingers Mar 5 '14 at 4:15
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    Wow. You know loads of things I don't, including the difference between Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. That has no bearing on my substantive point, as I'm sure you're perfectly well aware. Nor does the fact that you can find a few instances of "unusual" usages affect the fact that when this is pointed out to you by people who know more about normal English than you do, you should not try to win points in arguments at the expense of failing to gain knowledge about English which is being offered to you free of charge. – FumbleFingers Mar 5 '14 at 6:23
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I reviewed each of your sources for the context of the quotes, and most of them sound like antiquated language that you won't find being used today.

I don't think it applies here but it's worth noting: To "throw down the gauntlet" is to challenge someone. Historically, it was a challenge to do combat, but it is a phrase that has become more figurative (no one actually throws down a glove) to mean any type of challenge, and it is rarely bloody. Bobby Flay truncates the expression, and with his culinary "Throw Down" he challenges other respected cuisiniers to battle in the kitchen. And "a good ol' fashion throw down" could be a challenge of either type (bloody or not).

But I think that's all irrelevant in your examples. Unless you can replace "throw down" with "throw down the gauntlet" and still sound meaningful, it must mean something else.

In some instances they are ambiguous in their meanings. To throw down an offer in some cases means (figuratively) to throw the offer where it can be seen, thus to make an offer. In other cases, it means to (figuratively) dash the offer to the floor, thus rejecting it.

I had to read the context to get a better understanding. Here are my impressions:

Instead they threw down their offer. (rejected offer)

...he was a stiff and threw down my offer instantly. (rejected offer)

The offer was thrown down and the old bark taken to Clifton to tie up for the winter. (rejected offer)

The offer was thrown down to join the Sith and betray their master came up. (made offer)

When mankind wished to build a tower to reach the heavens where God was, their project was thrown down. (Literally, dashed to the ground.)

If this project was thrown down at a Staff Meeting... (rejected - it would be ripped to shreds)

There is no idiomatic meaning to "throw down" in these examples.

  • Antiquated language? Would you mind considering my new sources. :) – Elian Mar 5 '14 at 1:25
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"offer was thrown down" gets few hits on Google search, three of which you referenced. I have myself (AmE) never seen it used that way. I have seen offers or ideas put/thrown out there, thrown out into the ether for consideration, but thrown down is something I would expect to be used literally, as in descriptions of a WWE (slapstick wrestling - my definition, not anyone else's) match.

Throw down, an idiom with several meanings most commonly to produce or perform something spectacularly, admirably or forcefully) has the sense of your interpretation, but throw down is not used in this way - idiomatically - yet.

(btw, throw down comes from the idiom throw down the gauntlet (“to issue a challenge”).

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    Yes - you could conceivably throw down an offer. But really that "offer" would just be a euphemism for a "challenge" in most contexts. – FumbleFingers Mar 5 '14 at 3:21
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It seems that there are two major uses given by the OP with virtually opposite meanings.

One "throw down" is used in an analogy to laying down your hand in a card game to reveal it to the other players. So it is a revelation or a proposal.

It was raining, as it did most of the time. We were on the Sumshine Coast, so Gus threw down the idea of hitting "the pub" for tea

The alternative is using it as an analogy to overturning a structure or object, like a statue.

When mankind wished to build a tower to reach the heavens where God was, their project was thrown down.

  • Were you familiar with either of these usages, Oldcat? – Elian Mar 5 '14 at 2:09
  • @NourishedGourmet - note Oldcat was telling you that your sources were at odds with each other, not that they were readily accepted usages. I believe the first he qoutes mistook threw down for threw out: to offer as a suggestion or plan. The second seems to be to be an erroneous reference to overthrown or knocked down. – anongoodnurse Mar 5 '14 at 3:28
  • @Susan How about this one, Susan? books.google.com.br/… Will you also call it ---like FumbleFingers did a short while ago -- "casual words thrown together on blogs and chat sites"? – Elian Mar 5 '14 at 4:00
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    @NourishedGourmet - Madre de Dios, NG! It's a science fiction e-book! Though it's written quite well, and authoritatively, the author messed up on that word usage. Honest, he did! Pour l'amour du ciel, ten piedad de nosotros! – anongoodnurse Mar 5 '14 at 4:11
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    @Susan I may just as well reach out to this Mr. CLark on your behalf and ask about what he meant with "throw down". Rest assured I'll be certain and let you in on what I find. /) – Elian Mar 5 '14 at 10:50
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Have you ever heard of the show "throw down with Bobby Flay"? It's a TV program about competitive cooking. The "throw down" part means to "bring your game", but that's another idiomatic expression. So, throw down means to try really hard and do your best, especially under competitive circumstances.

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