Question by  elsewhen (627)

What does "more than i can shake a stick at" mean?


Answer by  Anonymous

I believe it describes something which exceeds preconceived expectations. It could be more in physical amount than one was expecting or having a stronger element than one was expecting.


Answer by  TonyAnderson (20)

The phrase means 'an abundance of', or 'a great number of'. It's origin is unknown, however one possibility that has been put forward is that it derives from the counting of farm animals, which one might do by pointing one's stick at each in turn.


Answer by  elizabethestel (14)

It means that something is happenening in abundance or in large quantities. It means there is a lot of whatever the person is referring to. It can also mean one has more of something than they can count.


Answer by  Scott (109)

I have always thought that this phrase means simply a lot. What I mean is that if its 'more than I can shake a stick at,' it has to be a huge amount, so huge that you can not even see it all to shake that proverbial stick at!


Answer by  Jenn (116)

The saying "more than I can shake a stick at" is an old term that has a simple meaning. It stands for a moment that you have or are referring to something that you do or could have more of than you'll typically want of any particular item.


Answer by  rmm2bf (13)

The phrase is a cliche which means there are more items, subjects, etc. than you can scoff at. The "shaking a stick" part is a metaphor for dismissing the amount.


Answer by  Connie (36)

There are a finite amount of possibilities, but an unusually large amount. I can shake a stick for a long time, but I can't shake one forever.


Answer by  Wackonorm (164)

The modern use of the phrase always exists as part of the extended and fixed phrase "more ... than you can shake a stick at", meaning an abundance, plenty. The phrase without the "more than" element is rather older, but not by much.

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