an arm and a leg

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The loss of an arm and a leg would be a high price to pay for something.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Noun[edit]

an arm and a leg (plural arms and legs)

  1. (idiomatic) Usually used after the verb cost, but also often charge, pay, and spend: a very high price for an item or service; an exorbitant price;
    Synonym: pretty penny (cost a pretty penny)
    • 1954, Commentary, volume 18, American Jewish Committee, page 448:
      That Polack costs me an arm and a leg, he thought.
    • 1960 March 29, “Slim waists prompted new sportswear line”, in The New York Times, page 44:
      Bangle bracelets in fourteen-karat gold that do not cost an arm and a leg are always in demand.
    • 2008, Jackie Collins, Hollywood Wives, Pan Macmillan, →ISBN, page 417:
      Her house was fabulous, her tits perfection – besides – the Beverly Hills Hotel was costing him an arm and a leg.

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