From the movie Logan (2017)

A mutant hunter tortures a mutant called Calliban who can track another mutant Laura.

The hunter says

She's not a natural like you. She's a business mistake, a R&D gone bad. There's liability. They can't have things with patents running around, hurting people, can they? We need to get her off the board before she hurts anybody else

What exactly does "get off the board" mean? Does he mean a metaphorical board like a checkerboard or it's just idiomatic like "we need to capture and hide her"?

up vote 10 down vote accepted

It's a gaming metaphor. When you "take" a piece in a game like chess, you physically remove it from the chess board. In the same way "get X off the board" means to remove X from the game, or from the situation in general.

Depending on the context, this can imply killing them, disabling them, or simply rendering them powerless and unable to "play". For example:

The Senator was the chairman of the committee and had a lot of political influence, but recent scandals effectively removed him from the board.

  • 1
    Or convincing them to quit, maybe other options. Just somehow getting them out of the "game". – Jay May 24 '17 at 17:43
  • It can also be used as a euphemism for "assassinate", perhaps by some bad guy. Although this can lead to unfortunate misunderstandings – Andrew May 24 '17 at 22:46
  • Sure. Depends on context. If you're talking about spies or gangsters, you might mean killing them. If you're talking about romantic rivals, hopefully you're not thinking of killing them. – Jay May 25 '17 at 16:43

there could actually be a number of meanings here. this Quote is not specific enough to show the correct context.

e.g. she could be on a Board or Oversight committee as suggested by the mention of Patent liability. she could be making bad decisions that could be risking the company, and so she should be removed. "get her off the board" being more literally "remove her from the board of directors"

in the above case (I would argue that Andrews example actually supports this meaning, not his suggested one) Board means a Committee assigned the authority to make decisions for a group. as defined by the dictionary as: "a group of people constituted as the decision-making body of an organization."

I don't believe this refers to a Game, or other metaphorical meaning, although it could.

in other words: I believe you are taking more meaning from this than it actually contains.

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