When I was 11, my sister bought our father a ''World Greatest Dad's'' coffee mug, and frankly, the man coasted until the day he died.

This sentence comes from a piece of line of Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory. The meaning of coast as a intransitive verb below, and pls interpret it in this particular context above.

1.to slide on a sled down a snowy or icy hillside or incline.

2.to descend a hill or the like, as on a bicycle, without using pedals.

3.to continue to move or advance after effort has ceased; keep going on acquired momentum: We cut off the car engine and coasted for a while.

4.to advance or proceed with little or no effort, especially owing to one's actual or former assets, as wealth, position, or name, or those of another: The actor coasted to stardom on his father's name.

5.to sail along, or call at the various ports of, a coast.

6.Obsolete. to proceed in a roundabout way.

All the listed definitions are quoted from Dictionary.com

  • 1
    If your numbered list is quoting from a dictionary definition, please provide a reference to the dictionary you got the definitions from (and put the list in blockquotes) -- it's not needed to answer the question, but it's good practice to give attribution when you're copying text written by someone else.
    – R.M.
    Aug 23, 2017 at 23:20
  • For some reason I wonder if coasted is a pun on coaster (what you put a cup or glass on the protect a table). If you tell us which episode, it may help to watch the action.
    – user3169
    Aug 24, 2017 at 3:24
  • @user3169 S02E04
    – Kris
    Aug 24, 2017 at 3:36

2 Answers 2


In this context "to coast" has the same meaning as the idiomatic expression "to rest on one's laurels": To be satisfied with one's past success and to consider further effort unnecessary.

In this case, the character in the show is saying that his father felt that getting a "World's Greatest Dad" mug was sufficient enough glory that he didn't have to strive for any further achievement.


Definition #4 fits the use accurately. It refers to someone who has rested on his laurels (to use another phrase), and "coasted" through life or career based on prior accomplishments.

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