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They're onto me

 

An idiom is an expression whose meaning is not readily apparent based on the individual words in the expression. This forum is dedicated to discussing idioms and other sayings.


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  #1  
Old October 17, 2010, 07:45 AM
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They're onto me

I just took a glance at a "caja boba" (TV set) near the place I am and knew they're broadcasting "Liar, Liar" again. I remembered the gagreel in the credits section and a funny joke at Jim Carrey's hamming expense.

The dialog is:
Lawyer: - Now let's see. "Weight: 105" ?
Fletcher Reed (Jim Carrey): - Yeah ! ln your bra.
Lawyer: - Your Honor, l object !
F.R.: - You would !
- Overactor !
- Jezebel !

[Everybody laugh]
[ Applause ]

L (pointing a finger behind the scenes)- He put me up to it.
Jim Carrey (laughing):
-"Yeah, sure he did.
Oh, no.
They're onto me."

[All Laughing]
I always doubt about the meaning of "they're onto me". Most of the time I relate it with the Argentine expression "me tienen calado" meaning "they know me well/they discovered my trick, defect or weakness", some times I think it as "la/s tienen conmigo/contra mí", and now and then I imagine it being "se la toman conmigo/contra mí".

What do you think? How can be translated all three expressions?

[Please, correct "a discreción"]
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  #2  
Old October 17, 2010, 07:52 AM
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Perikles Perikles is offline
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I always thought it was derived from a criminal being aware of police searching for a culprit, and realising they have worked out who did it and are closing in on him/her. i.e. They have found me out.
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Old October 17, 2010, 08:20 AM
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aleCcowaN aleCcowaN is offline
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Then, it would be something like "me tienen acorralado" or "me descubrieron", like "busted!" in a figurative sense.
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Old October 17, 2010, 08:37 AM
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Yes, that is how I would understand it - they are onto my trail.
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Old October 17, 2010, 09:16 AM
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That is definitely a phrase that would be used most "correctly" in a criminal sense, but is very commonly used for anything that is even mildly considered a secret.

I am behind in my teaching the first unit of my course, and my colleagues are onto me.
My friend's son has been hiding candy in a little-used cupboard, but his parents are onto him now.
I haven't told anyone that I was considering changing careers, but my friend Joe may be onto me because of something I said yesterday.

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Old October 17, 2010, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
Then, it would be something like "me tienen acorralado" or "me descubrieron", like "busted!" in a figurative sense.
Correcto.

También "están encima mío".
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Old October 17, 2010, 04:19 PM
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aleCcowaN aleCcowaN is offline
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Muchas gracias Perikles, Lou Ann y Chileno . Ahora me quedó claro.
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