What does the idiom "be for the high jump" mean?

The phrase be for the high jump is often used in English, but what does this idiom mean? When idioms are used in the right situations, they strengthen communication and enrich the language. You can communicate more effectively by learning the meaning of be for the high jump.

Meaning of "be for the high jump"


The phrase "be for the high jump" is a slang idiom used to describe a person or situation that is about to be severely reprimanded or punished for a wrongdoing. The phrase suggests that the person is about to be taken to task in a very serious manner, as if they were about to be put through a physical high jump in the same way an athlete would.


The origin of the phrase "be for the high jump" is thought to come from the early 20th century. It likely was derived from the high jump event in track and field, an event in which athletes attempt to jump over a high bar using a variety of techniques. The phrase is thought to have been used originally to describe someone or something that was in danger of being penalized or punished for a wrongdoing in a similar way to how an athlete is judged and awarded points based on how well they perform during a high jump event.


The phrase "be for the high jump" is most commonly used in informal and casual conversations. It is usually used as a way to describe a person or situation that is in serious trouble and may face a severe punishment or reprimand. It is also often used as a way to express fear or anxiety about a situation in which a person may be in serious trouble due to their actions.

Example Sentences

  • If you get caught skipping class again, you'll be for the high jump.
  • I heard that the boss is gonna have a serious talk with her, she's for the high jump.
  • If I don't finish this project on time, I'm going to be for the high jump.

The meanings of the words in the "be for the high jump" idiom

Idioms have a common language

"The early bird catches the worm" is an English idiom that means that those who wake up early and start their day early are more likely to succeed. A similar idiom in Spanish is "El que madruga, Dios le ayuda," which translates to "God helps those who rise early." This idiom emphasizes the importance of starting the day early in order to achieve success.


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