What does the idiom "cost an arm and a leg" mean?
The phrase cost an arm and a leg 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 cost an arm and a leg.
Meaning of "cost an arm and a leg"
The phrase "cost an arm and a leg" means that the price of something is exorbitantly expensive. It is used to express the idea that the cost of something is so high that it would be as if it cost you an arm and a leg. It is also used to express a situation in which someone has to pay an excessively large amount for something.
The expression has its roots in the ancient practice of charging a ransom for the release of prisoners of war. This was a common practice in the Middle Ages and it was often so expensive that it was said to cost "an arm and a leg". The phrase eventually became colloquial and took on a more figurative meaning.
The phrase "cost an arm and a leg" is usually used as a figure of speech to express the idea that something is extremely expensive. It is often used casually in conversation to make a point about the cost of something but is not taken literally. It can also be used as a warning to someone about the cost of something.
- I wanted to buy a new car, but it ended up costing me an arm and a leg!
- This new laptop was supposed to be a bargain, but it ended up costing an arm and a leg!
- If you're not careful, this vacation can end up costing you an arm and a leg!
- The rent here is so high, it feels like it's costing us an arm and a leg!
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.