help oneself

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help oneself (third-person singular simple present helps oneself, present participle helping oneself, simple past and past participle helped oneself)

  1. (reflexive) To serve oneself, especially to take food or other supplies, rather than wait to be served by another; used to indicate friendly permission or invitation.
    If you want to take a shower, help yourself to towels; they're in the linen closet.
    Is it all right if I get some water? —Oh, of course, help yourself!
  2. (reflexive) To take something freely; to serve oneself without restraint.
    He said I could help myself to the chocolates.
    He didn't even ask; he just helped himself to the special tea I was saving.
    • 1920, Herman Cyril McNeile, chapter 1, in Bulldog Drummond:
      Hugh helped himself to bacon. "My dear fellow, she can think what she likes so long as she continues to grill bacon like this. Your wife is a treasure, James—a pearl amongst women; and you can tell her so with my love."
  3. (chiefly in the negative) To exhibit self-control.
    Sorry for eating all the chocolates - I couldn't help myself.
  4. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see help.
    God helps those who help themselves.