Could you help me to understand the meaning of put mileage on you in the following context, please? Thank you very much!

But she could not let herself forget that he was the kind of guy who would find his way past your guard, take what he wanted, and convince you that it was what you wanted as well. He would run you in circles, put mileage on you, and then go on to his next conquest without a backward glance. And you wouldn’t be able to complain, because he hadn’t put up a pretense of being anything other than what he was.

From Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas

1 Answer 1


I take it that she means that the man would 'use' a woman in the same way a person would use a second-hand car; drive it around for a certain time, adding to the wear and tear on it, then seek to pass it on to another owner.

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    +1 agreed. I would add that to my ear (lifelong California resident), this is not anything like a common idiom. this strikes me as a creative, literary bit of figurative language. Apr 13, 2020 at 18:09
  • It's something I've heard elsewhere; while it shouldn't be idiomatic I would say that it is in certain areas among certain crowds. I am more from the east coast and I can't specifically remember where I've heard it but likely in movies, at bars, from crusty sailor types, etc. Apr 13, 2020 at 18:36
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    I feel like milage idioms are: someone with a lot of miles of them is prematurely-aged, and getting a lot of milage out of something means using it to the point it wears out. I've never heard "put milage on [someone]" either, but it seems like a combination of those 2. Apr 13, 2020 at 19:03
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    @OwenReynolds also "it ain't the years, it's the mileage" is a common expression as well
    – Kevin
    Apr 13, 2020 at 21:17
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    I thought I had explained it as 'drive [the car] around, adding to the wear and tear'. Apr 14, 2020 at 11:57

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