I'm reading the novel *Me Before You*. The male hero Will is a handicapped people. Now, the travelling agent was persuading Will's nursing assistant - Lou - to go to Florida.

‘They accommodate everyone. Why don’t you try Florida, Miss Clark? If you don’t like it you could go on to SeaWorld. And the weather is lovely.’

‘In Will versus killer whale I think I know who would come off worst.’

I can't understand the precipitate come off worst. After looked it up, I nearly half understand it -

Fare in a specified way in a contest.

But I still can't understand the sentence under this situation.

Why would she say that? And, according her meaning - "I know who would ...", Who would come off worst (I don't know)?

1 Answer 1


It looks like you understand come off: to fare in a specified way in a contest, which means something like "to experience a particular result or outcome in the contest".

Worst is a pretty simple word, that means what it says in the dictionary: most bad, or more bad than anything else

So "to come off worst" means "to experience the worst outcome in the contest" - that is, to lose.

The context is that SeaWorld has killer whales. So the sentence could be paraphrased as

"If I think about the contest 'Will versus killer whale', I know who would lose."

Since Will is handicapped, presumably Will would lose to the killer whale. Presumably the assistant is making a joke about why Will should not go to SeaWorld.

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