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|1. Highway Robbery
Two hundred dollars for one night in a hotel? That's highway robbery!
Meaning: an extremely high price or charge for something
Origin: During the time of William Shakespeare and the early 16th century. It was common for travelers on the open road to be held up and robbed by armed highwaymen. With time, the phrase "highway robbery" came to be associated with charges for goods and services that were so expensive that the buyer felt that he or she was being robbed by the seller.
2. Hat in Hand
Hat in hand, I went to the judge pleading for mercy.
Meaning: to behave in a humble and sorry way; to beg or plead for a favor or a pardon
Origin: For centuries people have begged for money in public by holding out a container to passersby. Often it was a hat. Taking off your hat in the presence of others is an act of respect. So a person, even one without a hat, who is begging for favors or forgiveness is a person with his or her "hat in hand."
A related saying is "pass the hat."
3. Pass the Hat
I need money for the amusement park. I may just have to pass the hat.
Meaning: to ask for contributions; to beg
Origin: At one time, hats were passed around at entertainment events by people asking for money. The custom might have originated with street minstrels who entertained people and then requested payment. And a hat is an excellent container in which to collect money.
4. In the Pink
I was pleased to see that old Zack's in the pink.
Meaning: in excellent health physically and emotionally
Origin: Centuries ago "pink" was the name for a popular garden flower. The meaning of the word changed over the years to mean a thing or person at its best. Then William Shakespeare used "pink" in one of his plays (around 1600) to mean perfection. And by the early 1900s, "pink" referred to health, probably because a rosy or pink complexion is a sign of good health.
5. It Takes Two to Tango
It takes two to tango. Who was your accomplice?
Meaning: two people are required to accomplish this deed
Origin: In the United States in the 1920s, the Latin American dance called the tango became popular, and so did this expression. Just as it takes two dancers to do the tango, there are certain activities that need the cooperation of two people in order to work. For many books, one person writes the words and another draws the pictures. There are a lot of other activities in which it "takes two to tango."
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