What does the idiom "go for a song" mean?

You are wondering about the meaning of the phrase go for a song, maybe you heard it in a TV show, movie or theater play. Although this idiom is not used very often, it enriches your capacity of expression and strengthens communication. In which case is the expression go for a song used and what is its meaning?

Meaning of "go for a song"


The idiom 'go for a song' is used to describe something that is very inexpensive and easy to acquire. It implies that the item is so cheap that it only requires a small payment equivalent to a song, suggesting it is worth very little. The idiom implies that someone may be able to acquire something of great value or worth with little or no effort.


The idiom 'go for a song' is believed to have originated in the United States sometime in the early 20th century. It is thought to be derived from the much older English idiom 'go for a penny', which has been around since the 1500s. The phrase 'go for a penny' implies that something is worth very little and is of low quality, which is what later became the phrase 'go for a song'.


The idiom 'go for a song' is used to refer to any item or object that is inexpensive and easy to acquire. It can be used to refer to a physical item or object such as furniture, clothing, or electronic items, or can be used to refer to services such as lawn care or snow removal. The idiom 'go for a song' can also be used to refer to something intangible such as a skill, a talent, or knowledge, which can be acquired in exchange for little effort or cost.

Example Sentences

  • I was able to purchase this desk for a song, it was a great deal!
  • The snow removal service was so cheap, it seemed to go for a song.
  • I was able to learn to play the guitar for a song.
  • We were able to get our lawn care services for a song.

The meanings of the words in the "go for a song" 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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