The working parent's brass ring.

Sergey Polovin Sergey Polovin (0) on 23/08/13

While reading an article called 'Home Offices: How to Stop Working' in Wall Stree Journal, I came across this sentence: 'In many ways, of course, the luxury of a home office is the working parent's brass ring.'

'Brass ring' means 'a rich opportunity or a prize'.

This is the first time I have come across this expression.

Is it OK to use it to encourage students to try harder to get good results on a test?

Here are my lines:

'Ok, folks,

You have been working hard and diligently. The test score might be your brass ring. It is in your power to get all A's.'

Thank you in advance.



For more information:

"Grabbing the brass ring" also means striving for the highest prize, or living life to the fullest. It is not clear when the phrase came into wide use but has been found in dictionaries as far back as the late 19th century.[4][5]

The term has been used as the title of at least two books.[6][7]


brass ring n.

Slang An opportunity to achieve wealth or success; a prize or reward: "missed the brass ring of American success" (Lewis H. Lapham).





Honestly, this is the first time I've ever heard this expression as well, though it's quite easy for a native speaker to guess its approximate meaning from context.

Your sentence seems okay at least to my ears (nothing popped out upon reading it), though I may argue against a "test score" being an effective motivator as a reward.



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