Imagine a man is going to get married and his close friend sees that the girl his friend has chosen is not a good one [By accident, he (the friend) knows the girl's background in detail] and wants to warn his friend about that girl (but very openly and in a debate). Please have a look at my self-made sentence and let me know if the bold preposition is a correct one or I have to modify it:

  • One hundred people have had their go at her before you.

Note: the number "100" here is a type of exaggeration to show an emphasis of the severity in my language and have no idea if it works in AmE.

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    I think I know what have a go means from my exposure to British English (I've never heard it in American English before), but you seem to have a different meaning in mind . . .  I'm not sure how to answer.
    – user230
    Jan 3, 2017 at 7:10
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    Where did you find the sexual slang meaning of "have a go at someone"? Are you sure it's AmEng? To "have a go at something" means to attempt to do something. To "have a go at someone" means to express strong, usually in anger, criticism.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 3, 2017 at 8:52
  • To have a go at someone or something means what Mari-Lou has said and does not have a sexual connotation.
    – Lambie
    Jan 3, 2017 at 16:39
  • @Mari-LouA please have a look at this link But I was not sure about the preposition at. Whereas the only preposition in common use referring to an individual was "at" on google, I decided to use it to make sure if it works here or not. Meanwhile, I've heard the compound verb "have a go" from an AmE southern close friend last year when he was expressing his mother's viewpoint about his girlfriend.
    – A-friend
    Jan 4, 2017 at 7:32
  • Online slang dictionary is not a very reputable source, it also defines have a go (note the absence of a preposition) as to make an attempt.. I think J. Reynold's sources are better but all the dictionary entries use the pronoun it, as in : "have a go at it", and not one provides any examples of usage. If he can come up with a few citations these would be helpful.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 4, 2017 at 7:47

6 Answers 6


The only source I found which actually provides an example of usage comes from Urban Dictionary under the entry of "go". leverichm suggests that with or at are the most appropriate prepositions to use.

UD definition of "go"

If the OP wants to this expression, then I suggest that he rephrase it as:

A hundred guys have had a go at/with her before you.


I presume the OP wants a sentence that is direct and explicit, judging by their self-made sentence. I suggest that the following are more idiomatic in British English and American English.

  • Sorry mate, but she's a whore / ho / slut / skank.
  • I hate to break this to you, but she will screw anyone/anything with a pulse.

For something less crude try:

  • Sorry buddy, but she's been / slept with a hundred guys.
  • Sorry pal, but she's damaged goods, if you know what I mean.

I suppose in an appropriate context, to have a go at someone could imply casual sex, but the expression have a go at something in British and American English means to attempt to do an activity.

  • I had a go at Zumba but it nearly killed me.
  • She tried having a go at writing a novel herself.

While have a go at someone, especially in British English, means to either physically or verbally attack someone.

Attack or criticize (someone):
1. ‘The problem is my aunt and uncle are always having a go at me.’
2. My teacher had a go at me earlier, just for missing one sodding homework. I was fuming.
3. The two boys were going at each other like mad dogs (wiktionary)
4. I heard you had a go at Jack the other night

  • Just for clarification purposes, "been with" and "damaged goods" are more delicate ways to express this, while your first and last are a bit more crude and direct.
    – J.R.
    Jan 3, 2017 at 9:13
  • @J.R. point taken, and rectified.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 3, 2017 at 9:23
  • I think some people would find the phrase damaged goods deeply offensive, FWIW.
    – user230
    Jan 3, 2017 at 9:43
  • @snailplane because telling a friend that their girlfriend has slept with a 100 men is somehow more acceptable? The entire premise of the OP is offensive to women.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 3, 2017 at 9:46
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    @snailplane The expression is used euphemistically, by itself damaged goods (the technical term) is completely inoffensive compared to whore, ho, slut, etc.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 3, 2017 at 9:56

Yes. Your use of at is correct. But it is standard to use have a go instead of their go. We would also more conventionally use a hundred, especially if we mean about a hundred or simply a lot.

Assuming you mean males, perhaps more naturally:

A hundred guys have had a go at her before you.

I'm sorry to have to tell you that a hundred ....

As a friend, I feel I have to tell you that a hundred . . . .

References for "have sex/intercourse with":

The Free Dictionary: have a go at it; have sexual intercourse with
Vocabulary.com Dictionary: have a go at it (idem)
WordWeb Online: have a go at it: (idem)

  • Could you please provide a reference with this meaning.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 3, 2017 at 9:20
  • @Mar Updated. I am surprised to find relatively few "widely recognized" authorities giving the definition on a quick search. This meaning is familiar to me. I'll try to find examples from a corpus search later. Jan 3, 2017 at 11:03
  • The links, good ones too, are all for have a go at it, but I suppose that does not exclude other personal pronouns... but I'm not 100% certain. The pronoun it is often used to mean sex, "I did it with Bob"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 3, 2017 at 11:06

It really depends how crude you want to be. There are a hundred ways to make this statement :)

She has slept with every guy in [the city/neighborhood].
She has f**ked every guy...
She's the neighborhood bicycle; every guy has ridden her. (1)
That girl is a hood rat. (2)


Having a go

Is BrE and has many different meanings all relating to "trying to do something"

We are placing bets on the Liverpool game. You want to have a go mate?

If you were to say

A hundred guys have had a go at her before you.
she has slept with a hundred guys

You could be saying that a hundred guys tried to marry her before your friend did, but it would probably be understood that you are basically calling her a slut since "having a go at someone" means you are trying to bed them.

and your friend might say back to you

Are you having a go (at me)?!
are you trying to upset me/rile me up?

  • As you say, the phrase connotes an attempt, and not necessarily a successful one. So, interestingly enough, even though a hundred guys may have "had a go at her," perhaps only two or three were successful. For that reason, I'm not sure this would be the best phrase to use in the O.P.'s situation.
    – J.R.
    Jan 3, 2017 at 9:12
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    It's entirely possible that "have a go at her" could mean "slept with her". As with most slang you'd have to establish meaning from context.
    – Andrew
    Jan 3, 2017 at 17:10

There is a N. American equivalent:

A hundred guys have had a turn with her.

Everyone's ridden that bike.

Both have the sexual meaning as well as preserving the original concept of "trying out" while still being euphemism rather than an explicit statement.

I agree with Mari-lou A that "go at someone" usually means to attack, but it also has a meaning of intense sex (eg. the two were going at it hot and heavy) in a different sense than in the original post.

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