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What does this phrase mean? It can be found, for instance, in Johhny Cash's song "I walk the line". I have seen it used elsewhere also but its meaning is a bit alien for me.
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To walk the line means you do not step out of line, that is, you behave as you are expected to.
Oh...my bad, I wasn't clear enough. I meant what does the " keep the ends out" mean.
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Can we have more context? That phrase, on its own, has no meaning to me.
I Walk The Line Lyrics
by Johnny Cash

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine, I walk the line

http://www.lyricsdomain.com/10/johnny_cash/i_walk_the_line.html
Grammar GeekCan we have more context? That phrase, on its own, has no meaning to me.
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine, I walk the line

Johnny Cash, I Walk The Line

Cheers
CB
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Hey Breeze, I noticed you're from Finland. Since I don't have the foggiest idea what it means, would you have any idea how to translate that into Finnish.

Is it any clearer now Grammar_Geek?
>I keep the ends out for the tie that binds

To me, it's like offering the two ends of a thread/rope out towards someone, for being bound with something else (a tie)

A gesture of confidence in that person?
Marius Hancu>I keep the ends out for the tie that binds

To me, it's like offering the two ends of a thread/rope out towards someone, for being bound with something else (a tie)

A gesture of confidence in that person?

That's exactly what I thought but didn't dare to put it in writing. I have known the song for about 45 years and always thought Cash is sort of volunteering to 'walk the line', as he puts it. In other words, he is willing to accept the responsibilities a marriage entails and giving his word he'll be faithful. The 'tie', as I understand it, is his relationship with his girlfriend/wife.

Zerox: I hope you understand the above interpretation in English. In my opinion I keep the ends out... could be sitoudun vapaaehtoisesti suhteemme velvollisuuksiin in Finnish.

Cheers
CB
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