Firstly sorry for my bad English.

I'm translating a book about behavior. What does "binge on elimination" mean in the following context:

We will shed an unreliable friend who causes us grief, stop drinking caffeine because it makes us jittery, quit a stultifying job that ruins our day, stop a habit that might be killing us. When the consequence is extreme distress, we binge on elimination.

  • 1
    A weird eating-as-defecating locution indeed :) We "go all out" to get rid of that which is causing us distress. To "binge on (something)" means to consume large amounts of it at one sitting. The complement (something) should be something that is consumable. Dec 27, 2015 at 13:29
  • could you be more specific, TRomano? I still didn't get what you meant.
    – haile
    Dec 27, 2015 at 13:49
  • What I'm saying is that the phrase is a poor one, semantically. The object of "binge on" should be something that can be consumed, either literally (perhaps some kind of snack food) or figuratively (Alfred Hitchcock films). Elimination, the act of getting rid of something (including defecation) is not a consumable, except to the coprophage. Therefore, you have the choice of a) representing this shitty sentence faithfully in your target language or b) finding a different word for "binge" that has little or nothing to do with consuming, as in "we opt to eliminate". Dec 27, 2015 at 14:04
  • If you want to capture some of the essence of the original's binge metaphor, repetition might do: "...we eliminate, eliminate, eliminate." Dec 27, 2015 at 14:10

2 Answers 2


It is a pun. Binge means to eat to excess, and eliminate can mean to remove from one's system that which has previously accumulated, maybe because of bingeing. We overdo the elimination in the same way we overdid the bingeing in the first place.

In my experience of diet, juice-fasting, etc, talk of 'elimination' is often meant in the sense of rapid removal, purging and forced removal via enema. This can be because someone may have eaten something toxic, eg rotten shellfish or processed meat with preservatives, which requires elimination so the toxins and poisoning effect are as short-lived as possible.

Perhaps it is an oxymoron? Either way it appears to be an attempt at humour which may be lost in translation.





1.a short period devoted to indulging in an activity to excess, especially the consumption of alcohol, food and television.

synonyms: drinking bout · debauch · bender · jag · toot · session

The picture painted is of a person who overreacts to stress by eliminating what is perceived to be the external causes of said stress - instead of doing the difficult work of examining their life and making the hard decisions.

It is written playfully, and, as quoted, is completely absurd, but we all know that person...

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