"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

To put the boot in

This British phrase has both a literal and a metaphorical meaning. Literally it means to attack someone by kicking them again and again, usually when they are lying on the ground.

Metaphorically it means kicking somebody when they're down; to make a bad situation worse.

He lost his job and then his wife put the boot in by announcing she was leaving him.

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