American Idioms and Expressions

Get a leg up

This database is a comprehensive collection of all the American idioms and slang available. American Idioms are many and varied. We hope you enjoy our collection. We are adding more all the time. .

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Get a leg up
What does Get a leg up mean?
To get a boost or advantage.I could get up a 5:00 am to get a leg up on my competition, but I don't think so.
This phrase may incorrectly invoke images of a dog raising its leg.
In fact "Getting a leg up" is from the act of an equestrian receiving help in mounting a horse. The helper would create a foothold by cupping the hands to heft the rider upward, throwing a leg up and over the steed.

Some Random Idioms
go by the book
What does "go by the book" mean?
to follow the rules exactlyMost police officers go by the book when they arrest a criminal.
in bad faith
What does "in bad faith" mean?
insincerity, with bad or dishonest intentions, the intention to deceive someoneThe manager was acting in bad faith when she refused to give the documents to the other department.
on order
What does "on order" mean?
ordered with the delivery expected at some future dateThe store has several computer printers on order.
edge (someone) out
What does "edge (someone) out" mean?
to win a competition against someone and get a job or positionI was able to edge out the other applicants to get the job.
get (someone's) back up
What does "get (someone's) back up" mean?
make someone become angryI got my friend's back up when I again asked her to borrow her notes from school.
straight from the shoulder
What does "straight from the shoulder" mean?
an open and honest way of speakingHe was speaking straight from the shoulder when he told the workers about the possible factory closing.
a pep talk
What does "a pep talk" mean?
a speech to encourage people to try harder and not give upThe coach gave his team a pep talk after they lost three games last month.
sit bolt upright
What does "sit bolt upright" mean?
to sit up straightI sat bolt upright when I heard the news about my cousin.
get out of here
What does "get out of here" mean?
no way; that can't be right; that's wrong
jump the gun
What does "jump the gun" mean?
start before you shouldHe jumped the gun and started selling the tickets before he should have.
out of one`s hair
What does "out of one`s hair" mean?
to get rid of an annoying person or thingMy sister is trying to get her daughter out of her hair.
bitch
What does "bitch" mean?
complaint; gripe. What's your bitch now?
Strike while the iron is hot
What does "Strike while the iron is hot" mean?
Act quickly while the opportunity is still available.If you want the job, you need to strike while the iron is hot.
Blacksmiths working iron by hand heat the iron in a fire to red-hot making it malleable. The Smith removes the iron from the fire and shapes it with blows from a hammer. They need to work quickly before the iron cools. Once the iron is cool, it becomes brittle and the opportunity to hammer it into shape has passed.

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