Please explain this sentence, "worse for wear" in particular: "This sofa is worse for wear after five years of use, but it is better than most after all this time."
The speaker means to say that the sofa in question is of premium quality. It's of such good quality that it still looks better after five years of service, with all the wear and tear.
Wear and tear?
Yes, literally, you see, "worse for wear" means things deteriorate as they are used, due to all the wear and tear, worse as in, the situation is getting worse and worse; for, as in, for one reason or another; wear, as in, he wears sneakers all the time and has worn out three pairs in the past year.
In terms of clothe wear, it's pretty clear that worse for wear means old clothes become threadbare and worn out. Sometimes, however, people are also described as worse for wear. When that happens, what does it mean?
Yes, as you may guess, people who are worse for wear are either getting older, getting ill, getting tired or, in euphemism, getting drunk and are unable to function as agilely, forcefully or efficiently as they normally do.
Here are media examples:
1. Barcelona and their supporters face punishment after they were reported on Tuesday for repeated derogatory chants against Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo during Sunday's 5-0 win over Levante at Camp Nou.
According to a report compiled by Spain's Professional Football League authority (LFP), supporters in the south stand at Camp Nou repeatedly chanted "He is a drunk, Cristiano is a drunk!" in the 65th minute of the game, in reference to the Portuguese's controversial celebration of his 30th birthday the previous Saturday in Madrid.
"A group of approximately 200 people identified with scarves, banners and flags from supporters' groups of the local club and in particular, the group known as ALMOGAVERS, located behind the banner identifying that group, started singing the following song: "He is a drunk, Cristiano is a drunk!," the LFP revealed in a statement on their website, adding that the chant was carried out "repeatedly" and "exclusively" by those fans while others were well-behaved.
The details of the report, which also cites abusive chanting in the Sevilla-Cordoba and Albacete-Betis clashes, have been passed on to Anti-violence and Competition Committees, which could choose to fine both Barca and the fans in question for their behaviour on Sunday.
Ronaldo has long insisted he does not drink alcohol, but was pictured looking worse for wear at his birthday party on February 7, just hours after Madrid had lost 4-0 to Atletico in a disappointing derby defeat at the Vicente Calderon.
For their part, the Almogavers supporters' group denied they had started singing the song on Sunday.
"Our Penya, as a group, did not initiate the chant," they said in a statement. "That is against our nature."
- Barcelona face punishment for 'Ronaldo is a drunk' chants, Goal.com, February 17, 2015.
2. What is dead may never die.
Yara Greyjoy said it more than once throughout the second episode of "Game of Thrones" on Sunday night. And even though more than one significant leader, including her father, was killed in "Home," the one person everyone thought was dead, isn't.
At the episode's end Ser Davos begs the Red Woman to help his Lord Commander Jon Snow, but she hesitates and then reminds him Snow is now the former commander. She weeps the fact that her prophecies and visions were wrong, in a rare moment of vulnerability.
Davos asks her to help him again, not as a woman of faith but as someone who showed him miracles were possible — she stands over Jon's corpse, cleans his wounds and chants over him. After the room is empty Ghost, who had been sleeping the whole time, stirs, an action shortly mirrored by his owner, Jon Snow.
His resurrection is cause for celebration for more reason the one, the first of which being his strategy to unite the Wildings and the Night's Watch in the inevitable war against the White Walkers. The second is that his half-sister Sansa, who is running for her life from an especially crazed Lord Ramsay Bolton, is heading to the wall with Reek and her new-found guardians Brienne and Podric to seek his protection.
Sansa in her discussions with Brienne has also learned that the knight saw her sister Arya alive and well not too long ago.
Sansa's hurry to the wall, armed with the new knowledge that her sister may still be alive, lends hope to a potential Stark reunion which most fans have been waiting for since season one.
Arya though, is worse for wear than the last time Brienne saw her. The faceless man tests her, taking on a new identity, and challenges her to physical altercations in spite of her blindness.
- ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6, Episode 2 recap: Not everyone who dies stays dead, NYDailyNews.com, May 1, 2016.
3. Whoever said the best defense is a good offense may need to rethink their position.
The New England Patriots (6-0) faced off against the New York Giants (2-4) at Gillette Stadium for a brisk, fall Thursday night game, where the wind played a large part in the night's outcome. The Patriots came off the field with a 35-14 victory, largely due to the consistent defensive line.
The first touchdown of the game was made by the Patriots' special teams; a blocked punt by Brandon Bolden was snagged by rookie defensive end Chase Winovich, who ran the ball six yards for his first career touchdown.
The tone was set for the evening; the defense and special teams would be the reason New England would climb to their 6-0 lead and remain first in the AFC.
In the locker room after the game, Winovich talked about his first career touchdown, and the last time he had one.
"It was back in high school, so it’s been a while," Winovich said in the locker room via Ryan Hannable of WEEI. "I’ve been planning on throwing it in the stands for a while, so it’s kind of already been accounted for. I didn’t know the fine was quite so steep, but no regrets. The last touchdown that I had was as a runner, as a quarterback running the ball. I probably threw some passes as well, no big deal."
While New England's offense is worse for wear, the defense took to marching the ball up and down the field to collectively force one fumble and three interceptions. As the offense played a disjointed, nearly rhythmless game, the defense picked up the slack time and time again. Linebacker Van Noy’s recovery of Giants running back Jon Hilliman’s fumble in the fourth quarter sealed the deal for continuing the Patriots' historic defensive performance to start the regular season.
- Patriots vs. Giants: Patriots Defense yet Again Takes over in Week 6 Win, SI.com, October 11, 2019.
About the author:
Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.