"curbing out cigarette smoking"


In this sentence "curbing out" reads strange. I can't find much on Google. It doesn't appear to have any meaning beyond "curbing", "inhibiting", and I am not sure the tag-along preposition "out" adds anything semantically. Is "curb out" idiomatic at all? Is it an Australian English phrasal verb?

This Antipodean phenomenon has a strong presence in workers’ rights and political debate, especially when it comes to curbing out cigarette smoking. (source)

Eddie Kal

Posted 2019-10-02T22:18:20.227

Reputation: 15 761



Apparently not. The GloWbE corpus has 7 instances of "curb out", 6 of which are this phrasal verb; but none of them is from Oz. (They are 1 US, 1 GB, 2 India, 1 Bangla Desh, 1 Kenya). It has no instances of "curbing out".

The iWeb corpus (bigger, and newer) has 31 instances of "curb out", but on inspection, only two of them are of this phrasal verb; and 2 of "curbing out".

So it is exceedingly rare, and I suspect a mistake (perhaps a confusion of "curb" and a different phrasal verb - maybe "cut out").

Colin Fine

Posted 2019-10-02T22:18:20.227

Reputation: 47 277


The preposition out is used to make the meaning of a word stronger as in:

We walked all day and were tired out (= very tired) by the time we got home.

It's up to you to sort this out (= deal with it completely).

(Cambridge Dictionary)

So curb out smoking means eliminate smoking completely.


Posted 2019-10-02T22:18:20.227

Reputation: 6 473