While Jason shooting towards them, Johnny English says to Bough:

Johnny English: Take cover, Bough. Don't worry, he's only got six bullets in that thing. And, of course, the thing itself.

How does "the thing itself" equal to "He can still hit you with the gun which hurts a lot too"?

I asked the meaning of "And, of course, the thing itself" My english friend replied it means, "He can still hit you with the gun which hurts a lot too". But here Johnny here didn't use the word "hit" or anything close to it. I am confused.

1 Answer 1


From context "The thing" means "the gun"

"He has six bullets, and the gun itself.

That is what it means. If you were translating, that is all you would need to say. Beyond that we have interpretation.

When English tells Bough about the bullets, it assumes you know that bullets go in a gun and can be shot out of a gun and if a bullet hits you it will hurt, but you know how many bullets are left by counting the shots because when a bullet is shot out of a gun it makes a loud bang and so we can count the number of bangs and when it is equal to six the we will know that all the bullets have be used and because a bullet can't be used twice....

All that stuff is "understood" as "common knowledge".

When English says "and the thing itself" we understand. "Of course even after he has shot the six bullets he won't be completely defenceless because he will still be holding a gun and a gun is a heavy piece of metal which would hurt if someone hit you with it, so even after we have counted six "bangs" we still need to be a bit careful...."

That is common knowledge about guns.

But it is nothing to do with the language English There is no special grammar or vocabulary, and if I said:

Il a six balles et, bien sûr, le pistolet.



The understanding would be exactly the same.

  • 1
    You could say le flingue and be much cooler. Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 14:29

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