I was having a discussion with my wife, and I mentioned "X has already stated he will have X off us", in context of a batch purchase/subscription purchase.

I have grown up used to that meaning X will essentially buy X off us/will take over that component. My wife however had the differing opinion that someone having something off someone implies/means it will be given freely, and she had misunderstood what I meant.

I had a bit of a think about this, and it is true, purchase is not explicitly stated in this turn of phrase, and I wondered both: A) Where this phrase/idiom comes from B) Whether I have grown up with it being used correctly or incorrectly, or whether its a one of those phrases that can be used in both contexts, but typically should be clarified (and should not be assumed either way)

I did do a bit of googling but I actually couldn't find any reference to this at all except in a sexual manner, which isn't relevant to the query, which is regarding usage along the lines of

"<1> says he'll have those off <2>"

Example, market stall, "I'll have those boots off you" or "Jonny'll have these off us"

I would not immediately take this to mean given FREELY, however it appears my wife would, and it did make me think about this, and where this came from/originated.

Thanks, good to know to prevent miscommunication!

  • Thank you, so it is indeed a context based phrase and assuming it means free or paid is not correct, perfect. Wanted to make sure for future communication.
    – Tyranuus
    Commented Jan 6 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


"I'll have X off of you" can have multiple meanings depending on context. The common factor is that is that is a request that something (goods or cash) should be handed to the speaker.
It could be confirming a cash transaction in a shop, market stall or similar. - "I'll have another kilo of bananas off you please"
It could be as some sort of gifting or charity. - "I'll have those second hand baby clothes off you". Note that in this case it could be "I'll take those ..."
Or it could be in an involuntary situation. - "Whilst I'm mugging you, I'll have your wife's watch and handbag off her as well"

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