The phrase “take a collar” refers to being arrested. This phrase originally meant that a person had been caught and collared, as if by an officer wearing a uniform. In modern times, it still means the same thing: having been apprehended by law enforcement and taken into custody.

The implication is that the person being arrested has resisted or declined to submit to legal authority, and instead must be “collared” in order to be brought under control. This phrase has become popular among people involved in police work, but can also be used casually in contexts outside of law enforcement. For example, someone could joke about taking a collar if they found themselves in dire straits when attempting a difficult task.

Introduction – Definition of “take a collar”

“Take a collar” is a common expression and an idiom in English. It is commonly used to refer to a situation where someone has unsuccessfully tried to achieve something, or accomplished nothing from their efforts.

In other words, if you take a collar it means that you have failed or have not achieved anything from your attempts. There are lots of situations in which this phrase can be used, ranging from sports competitions, business negotiations and job searches. The phrase “take a collar” conveys the sense of disappointment and despair felt when someone fails to accomplish something.

Essentially, the phrase “take a collar” suggests that despite their best efforts and hard work, something has gone wrong, so they had no success or outcome at all.

Origins of the phrase

The saying “take a collar” is a slang phrase that originated in the United Kingdom, likely in the late 19th century. It was commonly used to describe someone who had failed to accomplish something, or had been defeated in a situation such as a fight.

The phrase has also been used more recently and colloquially as another way of saying “to take the loss.” An individual might have taken a collar if they succumb to temptation and do something foolishly; or if they miss out on an opportunity despite their best efforts.

In other words, taking a collar is when you take on some sort of risk with minimal returns and no guaranteed success – like taking your losses and walking away. In essence, it’s simply choosing to accept defeat gracefully rather than trying to press on for an uncertain victory.

Examples & Contextual Usage

The phrase “taking a collar” comes from the worlds of gambling and crime. In Card Games, taking a collar means losing a bet – usually on the last round or point of the game. It’s the same deal in Gambling and Crime – if you attempt a venture and it doesn’t pay off, it’s said that you ‘took a collar’.

In everyday life, this phrase has taken on a similar meaning – to fail at something. For example, someone may say: “I tried to do that project but took a collar” which implies they failed to complete the project successfully.

It’s important to note that although ‘taking a collar’ generally implies failure or losing, there are some situations where it can be used positively. For example, someone might say “Somebody must have tried to break into our house, but we took their collar!” Which would mean that the attempted burglary was foiled by some kind of security measure.

Explanation of contexts when to use the phrase

The phrase “take a collar” is typically used in a more casual setting. It can be used to refer to someone who got something wrong or failed at something, much like the phrase “took a L (loss).” For example, if someone puts effort into something that doesn’t go as planned and they end up with nothing to show for it, you might say, “he took a collar on that one.”

The phrase also has applications outside of failure. For instance, some people use it as a way of expressing being excited. They may say something like, “I’m ready to take a collar today!” to signify their enthusiasm for whatever upcoming task or event lies ahead.

Finally, the phrase can be used comedically to inflate the magnitude of an everyday mishap or situation. If someone has trouble getting out of bed in the morning and complains about it jokingly, you may comment and joke about them having taken a big-time collar for that one. In all contexts, it’s meant to poke lighthearted fun at whatever situation is being discussed.

Alternatives to the term

The phrase “take a collar” is a colloquial expression which has its origins in the sport of baseball. It’s used to describe an at-bat that results in no success, whether it’s a strikeout or fly out. While this phrase has rendered itself useful over the years, some people may find it outdated, so there are some alternatives to using this term when referring to a failed at-bat.

One alternative phrase you could use instead of “take a collar” is “failed attempt.” This term more accurately describes the unsuccessful outcome from the at-bat and removes any correlation with baseball terminology. For example, you could say that the batter had two failed attempts before he finally got his hit.

Another option for an alternative phrase is “a miss.” This succinctly summarizes what happened during the at-bat; namely, that nothing was successful and it resulted in a miss for the batter. For example, you could say that despite two tries, the batter ultimately took a miss.