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what does it mean "the kid with all the marbles"

 
 
Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2011 09:53 am
I am still reading the book about Steve Jobs. There is one sentence describing him as " the kid with all the marbles". the preceding plot is about how Steve treats his colleagues as brother and he want to imply they are the same. and then the author writes " But they are not the same, Steve was the kid with all the marbles" So, what does "the kid with all the marbles" mean?
 
View best answer, chosen by Rebecca Cheung
sozobe
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2011 10:01 am
@Rebecca Cheung,
Basically, the one who has the most power.

If you think of a game of marbles, the intention is to win your opponent's marbles. The one who has the most marbles wins.

So Steve Jobs is the one with the most power, with an implication that he has beaten everyone else on the way to getting the most power. (Competitors in the field of computers, presumably.)

This isn't a standard idiom, by the way, just what I take from the phrase. ("He/she has lost his/her marbles" is an idiom which means "He/she is crazy" or "can't think straight.")

These are marbles, if you weren't aware:

http://thewoodenwagon.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/cuboro-marbles-l.jpg
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2011 10:05 am
@Rebecca Cheung,
http://www.landofmarbles.com/marbles-play.html

the goal of the game of marbles is to win your opponent's marbles - particularly any fancy ones they have

if you've got all the marbles, you've won the game, you've got the best position

the author has used an English idiom
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2011 10:29 am
Yes, if you "have all the marbles," you are in control of the "game." You will determine when and where the action takes place because you have the advantage. It's a boy's game, but here it means position.

The "marble" reference is used here as a metaphor for power and control.


0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
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Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2011 10:53 am
@sozobe,
Those look just like the ones I lost.
roger
 
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Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2011 02:27 pm
@maxdancona,
Next time, don't play with Steve Jobs.
contrex
 
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Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2011 02:32 pm
@roger,
And don't buy one of his overpriced computers.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2011 02:35 pm
@Rebecca Cheung,
"The marbles" usually refer to a person 's material possessions.
If "he has all the marbles" that means that he has all the assets, all the wealth.


Another use of those words, with a different meaning is:
"he lost his marbles" or "he does not have all his marbles"
which refer to loss of mental powers; mental instability.
contrex
 
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Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2011 03:32 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Thanks for repeating what has already been stated.
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2011 03:35 pm
@contrex,
Go forth and attend to the military footwear of your mother.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
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Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2011 04:00 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Marbles are also used in the training program for disc jockeys. They read a script while holding ten marbles in their mouths. Second day; nine marbles, third day; eight marbles. On the tenth day, when they've lost all their marbles, they get the coveted DJ Certificate. This explains a lot about disc jockeys.
OmSigDAVID
 
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Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2011 08:54 pm
@roger,
shades of Demosthenes
0 Replies
 
Rebecca Cheung
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 06:42 am
@sozobe,
Thank you very much!
0 Replies
 
 

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