Can’t Stand Someone or Something

Meaning of Idiom ‘Can’t Stand (Someone or Something)

When you can’t stand someone or something, your srongly dislike them or it; be unable to tolerate being around someone or something. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Usage

This idiom is always used in the negative. We never say “I can stand (someone).”

Sometimes used with nouns such the word ‘sight’ as in “I can’t stand the sight of that guy. He is so conceited.”

Another common construction is “I can’t stand being in the same room with him/her.”

Examples Of Use

“I can’t stand your lies anymore. I just want you to leave me alone.”

“I can’t stand Jackie. He is the most obnoxious person I’ve ever met.”

“I can’t stand this crappy computer anymore. I’m going to get a new one.”

Origin

Used since the early 1600s. 2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Stand has long been used to mean endure or tolerate. This is an extension of the meaning applied to structures, machines, etc. such as the example “We need a house that can stand a lot of stormy weather.”

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Sources   [ + ]

1, 2. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.