6

I've heard this a couple times now and most recently in a movie "钢的琴". It's an idiom that means "cut me some slack"; "let me off the hook". I couldn't make sense of the Baidu encyclopedia so I'm asking here.

  • You meant 放我一码 surely?... I can explain its literal meaning, but I am not sure about its cultural origin. It might have something to do with kites. – deutschZuid Feb 14 '13 at 5:30
5

It should be 放我一马. 马 here refers to the rider rather than the horse itself. It's from 三国演义.

出自三国演义。赤壁之战,曹操大败,欲从华容道逃走,被关羽逮个正着,立马堵住去路。关羽念及往日旧恩,让开马位,使曹操得以逃脱。“放你一马”,比喻手下留情。即出于此。

Source: http://zhidao.baidu.com/question/2156078.html

English version of the story (wikipedia)

  • That makes sense, although I am seeing a lot of 放我一码 on the net. Could be a misspelling that has become an alternative form? – deutschZuid Feb 14 '13 at 7:18
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    @JamesJiao I've seen it as an (not so popular) BBS meme which means either "don't delete my post" or "please share invitation code/coupon code/BT torrent". 码 means bits/bytes, extended from literal meaning 'encoding', in both cases. – NS.X. Feb 14 '13 at 7:35
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    Another explanation: (Don't delete my post) there's an expression called "码字/碼字" which means "to type, to write an post or sth to be on Internet". A shorter form is "码/碼"; (Give me invitation code) "码/碼" just means code. – Mike Manilone Feb 14 '13 at 20:58
  • @MikeManilone Yes it's very possible. In 码字, 码 means (re)arrange. – NS.X. Feb 14 '13 at 21:09
  • @NS.X. Thanks for the answer but I'm sorry you didn't try harder. See I already tried to make sense of Baidu encyclopedia and couldn't. My 三国 vocab isn't too good. Basically someone (CaoCao?/Guanyu?) escaped a battle on a horse? – tao Feb 16 '13 at 5:25

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