give the time of day

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give (somebody or someone) the time of day

  1. (literally) (dated) To tell someone the time of day by looking at one's wristwatch, etc.
  2. (idiomatic) To acknowledge somebody; to give somebody respect or attention.
    If you're lucky, she might give you the time of day.
    Unless you're a celebrity, he won't give you the time of day.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Give somebody the time of day is usually used in the negative.