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Take the soapboxing over to Pat's Pub.

I came across this sentence in an online discussion forum. Obviously, there was a debate. Although I had some meaning of the sentences, I would like to know its full explanation.

  • Is "Pat's Pub" another part of the forum? – Catija May 9 '16 at 20:41
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    Have you looked up "soapboxing definition" in an online search? – Adam May 9 '16 at 20:47
  • @Catija nope... – Yirmidokuz May 10 '16 at 9:42
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Today, if you want to tell the world your opinions about politics or society, you get on the Internet and post in a forum. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, in the U.S. and U.K., the custom was that you would go to a public square or park, stand on something that would put your head above the crowd, and give a speech. A handy thing to stand on was a "soap box", that is, a box that was made for the purpose of holding soap and similar products, and which was perhaps 18 inches to a side and made of wood. It was light enough to carry but strong enough to hold a man's weight, and a convenient size that you could step up on it and your head would be above the crowd, but no so big that climbing up on it would be difficult.

Thus, "standing on a soapbox" or "getting on a soapbox" has become an idiom for "expressing controversial social or political opinions".

"Pat's Pub" does not, as far as I know, have any widely-recognized meeting. I'd guess that's it's just the writer's way of saying "a congenial bar where people sit around and discuss politics". "Pub" is a British word for what in America we call a bar, short for "public house". "Pat" is a traditional Irish name. "Pat's Pub" sounds like a likely name for an Irish-owned bar.

It's barely possible that "Pat's Pub" refers to some specific place on this forum for voicing political opinions.

  • In the realm of forums, there's no requirement that the soapboxing be political... they could be complaining about any number of things that someone didn't want to hear about there, so they were told to go somewhere else. – Catija May 9 '16 at 21:35
  • @Catija Yes, that's why I said "or social". I suppose "soapbox" could be used to refer to someone expressing strong opinions about other controversial subjects, like religion or grammar or whatever. When people use the word for things other than political or social issues, I tend to think of it as more an analogy than literal, but whatever. – Jay May 9 '16 at 21:47
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It's not a nice phrase. Pat's Pub is a very common name for an Irish bar. Some people think Irish people drink a lot. So I think the phrase means, "Go share your opinions where people are drunk and more willing to listen to you."

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