7

I checked the "fall off" in Longman Dictionary, it means:

  • if part of something falls off, it becomes separated from the main part

  • if the amount, rate, or quality of something falls off, it decreases

  • somebody nearly/almost fell off their chair

But no one fits with the phrase.

So, could you please tell me what the meaning of "I’m done falling off shit" is?

The text is:

Construction began on the milking barn in Oneida. Shawn designed and welded the main frame—the massive beams that formed the skeleton of the building. They were too heavy for the loader; only a crane could lift them. It was a delicate procedure, requiring the welders to balance on opposite ends of a beam while it was lowered onto columns, then welded in place. Shawn surprised everyone when he announced that he wanted me to operate the crane.

“Tara can’t drive the crane,” Dad said. “It’ll take half the morning to teach her the controls, and she still won’t know what the hell she’s doing.” “But she’ll be careful,” Shawn said, “and I’m done falling off shit.”

  • 2
    If you read the paragraph carefully, you can see that the welders have to balance on opposite ends of a beam. A beam is something you can fall off. shit=things, as explained below. He must have fallen off something high in the air at some earlier date. – Lambie May 21 '18 at 12:00
  • I'm also wondering if it is correct to say " I’m done with falling off shit"? – dan May 21 '18 at 23:48
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    @dan - yes, that's fine; there is also "I'm tired of falling off shit" or "I'm fed up with falling off shit". You can also say "off of" instead of "off" in all these cases. – cag51 May 22 '18 at 0:29
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    @cag51 - {shudder}. Yes, you can say "off of" in some dialects. Other people will judge you for it though - it sounds ill-educated to me. (I wish I wasn't so superficial and judgemental, but oh well.) I would certainly not recommend it to English Language Learners for their own speech, but perhaps it is worth them knowing that some native speakers will use it, so that the learner can understand them. – AndyT May 22 '18 at 10:23
17

I'm done falling off shit.

Means simply "I'm done falling off different things". The word shit here stands for "all kinds of things". See Meaning No. 5 in Wiktionary's article for shit.

Shawn says that he does not want to fall from different kinds of structures any more.

The word off means "from". Compare:

“His friends jumped over smaller gaps. Ankit thought he would be able to jump over the gap that’s wider. While he attempted the jump, he slipped and fell off the cliff,” a friend Sanjeev Khokhar told SBS Punjabi. (Source)

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    I think you should also address "I'm done" - an idiom meaning "I'm tired of it, and I intend to stop it, starting now." – SF. May 21 '18 at 11:17
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    @SF. "I'm tired of it" is also an idiom, meaning "I'm sick of it" :) – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft May 21 '18 at 17:09
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    @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft "I'm sick of it" is also an idiom, meaning "I'm fed up with it" :) – Tin Man May 21 '18 at 20:18
  • @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft: I disagree about the equivalence; "I'm sick of it" is a statement of a continuous state with no implication of any change. "I'm sick of my boss, but I'll suffer through this job until my stock options become available." "I'm done" bears a specific finality; it's irrevocably bound with a decisive action that should radically change the situation: "I'm done with my boss. I quit." – SF. May 22 '18 at 7:01
  • @SF. Er, you were the one comparing "I'm done" to something else, not me. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft May 22 '18 at 11:24
13
  • I'm done = had enough of
  • Shit = vulgar placeholder collective noun used like "stuff", "things", or "whatsits".

So...

I've had enough of falling off things

  • succinct. I love it – sehe May 21 '18 at 19:35
  • @sehe Eshew obfuscation. :) – Graham May 21 '18 at 19:40
  • Eschew, even :) – sehe May 21 '18 at 19:40
  • @sehe That too. :) – Graham May 21 '18 at 21:01
4

Even though Dad says teaching Tara is, in his opinion-a waste of time, Shawn still wants her to operate the crane because he believes she will be careful. Shawn needs someone to be careful because he fell from different objects while someone else drove the crane and he had enough of that "I’m done falling off shit.”

  • Only improvement would be relating Tara's crane operating back to Shawn's falling (i.e. he will fall if the crane operator isn't good enough, because the beam will jostle while he's balanced on it). – user3067860 May 21 '18 at 22:36

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