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December 8, 2018

My son Fred (14) has taken to using an expression which is new to me. When he and his friends are going out, they call it a motive. (“We’re going on a motive tonight.”) It seems to be a synonym for “outing”, but sounds much more exciting than that, giving trips to the cinema or to Nando’s the air of being some sort of secret masterplan. No idea of its origin: any suggestions welcome.

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  1. Simon Carter permalink

    I think the meaning is the literal one, ie a reason to go somewhere.

  2. Mark Brafield permalink

    I like this and may adopt it myself, if only to annoy my own teenage son. I suppose it is a bit like an adult being ‘on a mission’, which I understand to be slang for looking to pick up a girl, although Urban Dictionary tells me that it also means to be looking for drugs.

  3. Craig permalink

    When we use the term “he’s going on a mission” it has a broader meaning. We use it to describe anyone going out with a determination to accomplish something. For example:

    “Is Steve drinking tonight?”
    “Oh yes, he’s on a mission”

    The term your son uses sounds like it has a similar use. I quite like it though.

  4. Yes, I see the similarity with ‘mission’. Both excellent expressions.

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