A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Give someone a run for their money

Give someone a keen, close contest or give someone good value for money, according to the OED it derives from horseracing during the mid-19th century,...

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Give someone a thick ear

see Thick ear


Give someone black looks

see Black look/looks


Give someone both barrels

see Both barrels


Give someone the bird

Is to jeer, boo or express disapproval and derives from the world of the theatre where the custom used to be to hiss like a goose to express disapprov...

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Give someone the bullet

An alternative way of sacking or firing someone dates from the early 20th century. See also fire someone and get the sack.


Give someone the elbow

To fire or dismiss from employment, from the allusion of elbowing someone away, is British informal and dates from the 1970s, according to Eric Partri...

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Give someone the needle

see Needle someone


Give someone the nod

see Get the nod


Give someone the pip/give or get the pip

This expression is usually in the form of someone or other giving one the pip, which means that the person in question is very annoying or irritating....

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Give someone the run-around

see Run-around


Give someone the time of the day

see Not give someone the time of day


Give someone the wink

see Tip someone the wink


Give someone what for

To chastise or punish someone dates from 1873 according to the OED. It is thought to have arisen in informal speech in response to the question, “What...

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Give something a bash

see Bash/bash on


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