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box score

1. In sports, especially baseball or basketball, a record that breaks down the scores, players, and statistics of two teams in a given game. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. Make sure you get your hands on the box score after the game—it will help you write a much better article than relying on memory alone.
2. By extension, a thorough and detailed rundown of an event, action, or situation. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. My boss asked me to prepare a box score for our earnings this quarter.
3. Military slang for a record of the number of dead, wounded, or missing soldiers at a given point in time. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. The box score over the past month shows that we experiencing less casualties than this time last year.
See also: box, score

(some score) from the East German judge

An imaginary and exaggeratedly low score for some event, action, statement, or attempt deemed to be a failure or inadequate in some way. It is a reference to judges from the former country of East Germany, who were often seen as giving unfairly low scores to competitors from other countries during international sporting events. I'd say that pitiful retort would only get you 2 out of 10 from the East German judges, my friend.
See also: east, german, judge

go off at score

1. To have an enthusiastic or spirited start to something. The musician went off at score, launching immediately into a madcap arrangement of tunes that got the audience right out of their seats.
2. To speak or behave in an impetuous and impulsive manner. I very nearly went off at score to tell her how ignorant such a viewpoint is, but I decided to hold my tongue instead.
See also: off, score

score off (someone)

To gain an advantage over, outdo, defeat, triumph over, humiliate, or make some detrimental remark to someone. Primarily heard in UK. It feels as though I'm scoring off life every time I harvest a vegetable out of my back garden. Mark's younger cousin always makes a point of scoring off him when they get into arguments as a way of flaunting his intellect.
See also: off, score

score (something) off (someone, something, or some place)

To get something one wants from some person, place, or thing, especially for free. I scored two tickets to the concert off Janet's brother-in-law! I'm going to try to score some software from the IT department at work. We scored all our furniture off an online swap-and-shop site.
See also: off, score

a score to settle

An old problem, grudge, or grievance (with or against someone or something) that one wishes or intends to redress or rectify. I've had a score to settle with my brother ever since he ran away with my wife. The former champion entered the competition with a score to settle, after being knocked out of the tournament last year by a newcomer. There are a few scores I still need to settle with my old bosses, but otherwise, I've pretty well moved on.
See also: score, settle

settle the score (with someone)

To get vengeance (on someone) for a past wrong or grievance; to punish someone for causing one harm or misfortune in the past. The former champion entered the competition looking to settle the score with the young player who dethroned him in the previous tournament. After five years in hiding from the law, Hofstadter decided it was time to return to town and settle the score.
See also: score, settle

settle an old score (with someone)

To get vengeance on someone for a past wrong or grievance; to punish someone for causing one harm or misfortune in the past. The former champion entered the competition looking to settle an old score with the young player who dethroned him two years prior. After five years in hiding from the law, Hofstadter decided it was time to return to town and settle some old scores.
See also: old, score, settle

the score

The complete, accurate details of a situation; what is really happening or expected to happen. Okay, everyone knows the score, right? We get in, get the money, and get out—no one inside gets hurt, do you understand?
See also: score

even the score

To avenge a wrong or make an unfair situation more equal. After Danny stole my girlfriend, I had to even the score by dating his ex. After taking a big hit, Scott tried to even the score with one of his own, but he ended up getting a penalty.
See also: even, score

four score and seven years ago

Eighty-seven years ago. (A "score" is a set of 20 items.) The iconic first line of US President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, the speech he delivered at the dedication of the national cemetary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Lincoln gave this speech in 1863—87 years after 1776, the year of the founding of the United States. Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
See also: ago, and, four, score, seven, year

have a score to settle (with someone)

Fig. to have a problem to clear up with someone; to have to get even with someone about something. I have a score to settle with John since he insulted me at our party. John and I have a score to settle.
See also: have, score, settle

know the score

 and know what's what
Fig. to know the facts; to know the facts about life and its difficulties. Bob is so naive. He sure doesn't know the score. I know what you're trying to do. Oh, yes, I know what's what.
See also: know, score

pay off

to yield profits; to result in benefits. My investment in those stocks has really paid off. The time I spent in school paid off in later years.
See also: off, pay

pay someone off.

1. Lit. to pay what is owed to a person. I can't pay you off until Wednesday when I get my paycheck. I have to use this money to pay off Sarah.
2. Fig. to bribe someone. Max asked Lefty if he had paid the cops off yet. Lefty paid off the cops on time.
See also: off, pay

pay something off

to pay all of a debt; to pay the final payment for something bought on credit. This month I'll pay the car off. Did you pay off the gas bill yet?
See also: off, pay

score against someone or something

to make a point or goal against someone or some team. Because of his bad ankle, Fred was unable to score against his defender. We never scored against the visiting team.
See also: score

score something for something

1. to arrange music for one or more musical instruments; to arrange music for a particular type of voice or voices. The arranger scored the music for two pianos. The arranger scored the song for a four-part chorus.
2. to scratch something, such as glass, for breaking. Valerie scored the piece of glass for breaking and then snapped it off. The worker scored the pane of glass for snapping off.
See also: score

score something (up) against someone or something

to tally up a score against someone or some team. Tara scored a few points against Sally. The Bears scored up thirteen points against the Giants.
See also: score

score with (someone or a group)

Inf. to please someone or a group. Her rendition of "Old Kentucky Home" really scored with the audience. You really score with me.
See also: score

settle a score with someone

 and settle the score (with someone)
Fig. to clear up a problem with someone; to get even with someone. John wants to settle a score with his neighbor. Tom, it's time you and I settled the score.
See also: score, settle

settle the score

(with someone) Go to settle a score with someone.
See also: score, settle

settle old scores

See: settle a score
See also: old, score, settle

pay off

to result in success I hope all this hard work pays off.
See also: off, pay

pay off somebody

also pay somebody off
to give someone money illegally to get them to do what you want The pair had paid off local police to protect their drug-selling operation.
See also: off, pay

pay off something

also pay something off
to pay all of a debt It took her six years to pay off her student loan. I guess I can afford a new car, but it's a lot of money and it's not easy to pay it off.
See also: off, pay

score points

to do something that will make people like you I don't think you'll score any points with your clients if you don't return their calls. Some reporters are so unpopular that politicians can score points by attacking them.
See also: point, score

know the score

to know all the important facts in a situation You know the score - no payments are made until after the article is published.
See also: know, score

settle a score

also settle old scores
to punish someone because they have done something to hurt you in the past Muhammad Ali was eager to settle a score with Joe Frazier. After losing the race for mayor four years ago, running again this year was partly a matter of settling old scores.
Usage notes: often used in the form have a score to settle: The family was mistreated, and they have a score to settle with the government.
Related vocabulary: get even (with somebody)
See also: score, settle

know the score

to know all the important facts in a situation, especially the unpleasant ones You know the score - no payment until after the article is published.
See also: know, score

settle a score

to harm someone who has harmed you in the past (often + with ) Police believe the killer was a gang member settling a score with a rival gang.
See also: score, settle

box score

1. A detailed summary of actions or an event, as in The President wanted to base his reelection campaign on his box score. The term comes from baseball, where since about 1910 it has signified a statistical summary in table form of the essential details of a game. About 1930 it began to be used figuratively, especially by politicians referring to their own record while in office.
2. In military slang, the number of dead, wounded, or missing in action. For example, Never mind the details of the battle; just give the lieutenant the box score. [c. 1950]
See also: box, score

know the score

Also, know what's what. Understand what is happening; be familiar with the real story or the full situation. For example, It will take the new legislators some time to know the score, or When it comes to teaching youngsters to read, Nell knows what's what. The first expression, dating from about 1930, alludes to score as a tally of points in a game. The variant dates from about 1400.
See also: know, score

pay off

1. Pay the full amount on a debt or on wages, as in The car's finally paid off, or Les pays off the workers every Friday evening. [Early 1700s]
2. Produce a profit, as in That gamble did not pay off. [Mid-1900s]
3. Also, pay off an old score. Get revenge on someone for some grievance, require, as in Jerry was satisfied; he'd paid off his ex-partner when he bought him out at half-price, or Amy went out with her roommate's boyfriend, but she was paying off and old score.
4. Bribe, as in The owner of the bar paid off the local police so he wouldn't get in trouble for serving liquor to minors . [Colloquial; c. 1900]
See also: off, pay

scoring position, in

About to succeed, as in The publisher is in scoring position with that instant book about the trial. This term comes from sports, where it signifies being in a spot where scoring is likely. In baseball it refers to a situation in which a runner is on second or third base. The figurative use of the term dates from the second half of the 1900s.
See also: score

settle a score

Also, settle or wipe out an old score or scores . Get even, avenge a grievance or an injury. For example, Wendy settled an old score with Bill when she made him wait for half an hour in the rain . These expressions, dating from the mid-1800s to early 1900s, all use score in the sense of "an account" or "bill." Also see pay off, def. 3.
See also: score, settle

pay off

1. To pay the full amount of some debt: She paid off the mortgage ahead of schedule. He paid his college debt off six years after he graduated.
2. To result in profit; be lucrative: Your efforts will eventually pay off.
3. To result in some degree of profit or loss: My unwise bet paid off very badly.
4. To pay the wages that are due to an employee upon discharge: We were fired, so they paid us off and we left the building. The company didn't fire the workers because it couldn't afford to pay them off.
5. To bribe someone in order to ensure cooperation: The owner of the factory paid off the inspectors so that they wouldn't report the safety violations. I won't allow anyone to cheat here, and no one can pay me off.
See also: off, pay

know the score

tv. to know the way things work in the hard, cruel world. Don’t try to con me. I know the score.
See also: know, score

make a score

tv. to do a criminal act: to buy or sell drugs, to rob someone, to perform a scam. (Underworld.) We made a score with that bank job in Adamsville, didn’t we?
See also: make, score


1. in. to succeed. I knew if I kept trying I could score.
2. tv. & in. to obtain something; to obtain drugs or sex. (Very close to sense 1) Fred is always trying to score with women.
3. n. the result of a scoring: drugs, loot, winnings, etc. The crooks dropped the score as they made their getaway.
4. in. [for a male] to copulate with a female; [for a female] to copulate with a male. (Usually objectionable.) Fred can’t think about anything but scoring with Martha.
5. n. the client of a male or female prostitute. She conked the score over the head and robbed him.
6. n. a summary; a conclusion; the sum total. (see also bottom line.) Okay, waiter, what’s the score?
References in periodicals archive ?
We are proud to present the first Top Scoring Car Awards from Total Car Score," said Karl Brauer, founder and CEO of Total Car Score.
A 10-yard scoring pass from Vince Moraga to Herman Young gave Pacifica of Oxnard (0-2) a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter, Simi Valley's Langston Jackson scored on a 6-yard run just before halftime to tie the score.
This study also revealed that both groups of students felt confident after instruction although their confidence did not correspond to their posttest scores.
If playing open scores is difficult for pianists with years of training, it is even more so for the instrumental or vocal music major who does not engage in piano study until his freshman year in college.
Bauer and his agency colleagues tell customers upfront that their insurance score will be made up of credit scoring, as well as their motor vehicle record and losses, and will be modeled on a number of different variables.
Hispanic children do not experience this widening test-score gap relative to otherwise similar white students; indeed, they systematically close the gap, perhaps because their initial scores are artificially low due to the relative inexperience with the English language among some immigrants and their children (see Figure 2).
Alternatively phrased, score on an item must be a function of_ only, not a function of score on any other item or a function of any other trait.
He's making rehearsal scores not just for Concerto Barocco, but for two other seminal Balanchine ballets: Serenade and Apollo.
The science scores are in direct contrast to the 2000 mathematics assessment, released in August 2001, that showed significant improvement for fourth and eighth graders.
In a study in which 304 anesthesiologists assigned ASA scores to 10 hypothetical patients, the mean number of patients rated identically by the expert panel was 5.
These companies assign numerical values to "events" on an applicant's credit report--slow payments, maxed out credit cards, or bankruptcies, for example--then calculate them with other factors to arrive at a score.
In one study, people with high coronary calcium scores were five to six times as likely to develop heart disease as people with low calcium scores, says Yadon Arad of St.
When comparing our nurses and CNA's we found that the nurses had slightly higher scores in all areas.
As shown in figure 3, page 18, the weighted combined scores for the 10 Ambulatory Care Parameters form the Program Quality Index (PQI).
Vantage developed IntelliMetric[TM], which administers and scores responses to open-ended questions over the Internet using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology.