Is "on the fence" a metaphor?

Is "on the fence" a metaphor?

Fences frequently identify ownership, and sitting on a real fence means straddling a position between two distinct properties. Sitting on the fence entails straddling the line between two ideas without committing to either. This is a metaphorical use of the fence image.

What does the metaphor on the fence mean?

To be on the fence implies to be apathetic or uncertain about a topic. "When asked if he thought the UK should exit the European Common Market, he sat on the fence and refused to indicate which way he intended to vote," for example. Or, more negatively: "Being on the fence is another name for being undecided—which isn't really saying much."

The metaphor behind this idiom comes from horse racing. At the start of each race, the jockeys would mount their horses and walk them down the backstretch, leading up to the starting gate. If the jockey was not sure which way the horse wanted to run, he would stand on the side of the track next to the fence. By doing so, he could follow both paths equally well, and make his decision based on which one seemed fastest.

In English literature, the phrase "to sit on the fence" first appeared in Oliver Goldsmith's 1762 poem "The Deserted Village". In it, a man refuses to take a side in an argument, saying that he will "sit on the fence and view / The rich and poor estate alike."

The image of the jockey has been popular among writers since then. For example, Henry David Thoreau used it in his 1854 essay "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience".

What is the meaning of the idiom "sitting on the fence"?

"Sitting on the fence" is an English phrase that describes a person's indecisiveness, neutrality, or hesitance to choose between two sides in an argument or a competition, or inability to decide owing to a lack of bravery. The term comes from the image of someone sitting on the boundary line between two fields of crops, so they can watch both sides but cannot make up their mind which one they prefer. This metaphor was first used by Thomas Gray in his poem "The Fatal Sisters", published in 1771: "Thy gifts were twin, thy wishes like; / On one small circle all thine hours / Were roll'd away: no middle ground, no stay, / But where we lose the one, we gain the other."

In current usage, the phrase means that someone has taken neither side in an issue nor made any effort to resolve the dispute involved.

What does ”I’m on the fence” mean?

Allegorically, it represents a fence dividing two possible choices, perhaps a cornfield on one side and a pasture on the other. If you are sitting on the fence and can't decide which field you want to go to, you will remain seated on the fence. So if a person is asked, who are you going to vote for? And they say, "I'm on the fence," it means that they aren't sure which candidate to support.

In politics, voters may express preference for one candidate over another by voting for that candidate's party ticket or by casting a ballot for each candidate individually. Or, they may say they're 'on the fence' and won't commit to any choice. This is known as being 'undecided' and is common in presidential elections when there are many candidates from both parties standing against one another. The term 'undecided voter' is also used to describe those people who may vote for one candidate in some states but not in others. For example, someone who votes for Hillary Clinton in one state might have their vote rejected by officials in another state where Mr Trump is competing heavily with Mrs Clinton for votes.

In conclusion, being on the fence means that you are considering all your options before making a decision about which way to go.

What does it mean when someone’s a fence?

A fence, also known as a receiver, mover, or moving man, is someone who acquires stolen items with the intent of reselling them for a profit. The fence serves as a go-between for criminals and ultimate buyers of stolen items, who may be unaware that the products are stolen. Fences often work with other thieves to distribute goods within a region, since buying and selling on the black market is not an easy task.

Fencing has existed as long as crime has been committed, although it is estimated that it accounts for only about 1% of all crimes committed. It is a common practice in regions where theft is a problem to hire fences to move or resell stolen goods at a profit. The term "fence" comes from the fact that these individuals stand between thieves and their prey to determine a reasonable price for the goods and then negotiate with both parties before completing the transaction.

Thieves will usually try to sell expensive items such as jewelry, cameras, and phones directly from the scene of the crime because they can make a large amount of money this way. However, fences tend to focus more on quality merchandise that has strong resale values so they can generate a profit. This includes items such as music CDs, books, movies, and video games. Since technology changes so rapidly, many fences purchase high-end products that will still be relevant in one year or two; they just need to be able to sell them for a good price.

About Article Author

Andrew Garrison

Andrew Garrison is a writer who loves to talk about writing. He has been writing for over 5 years, and has published articles on topics such as writing prompts, personal development, and creative writing exercises. His favorite thing about his job is that every day it keeps him on his toes!

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