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What are knock-down drag out fights?



 
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What are knock-down drag out fights? #1 (permalink) Thu Nov 06, 2008 19:24 pm   What are knock-down drag out fights?
 

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #459 "English Slang Idioms (201)", question 1

He hadn't slept in a week. His neighbors had been having .........-down drag out fights every night and they were not quiet about it.

(a) wipe
(b) slap
(c) knock
(d) dress

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #459 "English Slang Idioms (201)", answer 1

He hadn't slept in a week. His neighbors had been having knock-down drag out fights every night and they were not quiet about it.

Correct answer: (c) knock
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What are knock-down drag out fights? #2 (permalink) Thu Nov 06, 2008 22:58 pm   What are knock-down drag out fights?
 

Hello,
This expression means "marked by extreme violence; having to do with fighting; also used figuratively as fierce or intense contests/competitions; a knock-down-and-drag-out fight."
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What are knock-down drag out fights? #3 (permalink) Thu Nov 06, 2008 23:12 pm   What are knock-down drag out fights?
 

Hi Linda

Don't you think the entire idiom (adjective) should be hyphenated in the test sentence?

Webster's provides two alternatives:
- knock-down, drag-out
- knock-down-and-drag-out
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/knock-down-drag-out

Cambridge provides only one:
- knock-down-drag-out
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=knock.down.drag.out*1+0&dict=I

Dictionary.com lists all three of those options:
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=knock-down-drag-out&r=66

For me, the bare minimum here would be to at least add the hyphen in "drag-out".
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What are knock-down drag out fights? #4 (permalink) Thu Nov 06, 2008 23:55 pm   What are knock-down drag out fights?
 

Yes, that sounds good. Hyphens are subjective at times but I like the idea in this case.
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