Give someone his or her head

Also, let someone have his or her head. Allow someone to proceed as he or she wishes, give someone freedom. For example, He usually gave his assistant his head when it came to scheduling appointments, or Sometimes it’s wise for parents to let a teenager have his head. This expression alludes to loosening a horse’s reins and letting it go where it wants to. [ Second half of 1500s ]


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  • Give someone his rights

    verb phrase To inform an arrested person formally of his or her legal rights, esp by reading him or her a ”Miranda card” detailing them: The judge threw it out because they hadn’t given the crook his rights [1960s+; fr the requirement based on the Supreme Court decision in the Miranda case of 1966]

  • Give someone his walking papers

    verb phrase (Variation: running shoes or walking ticket may replace walking papers) To dismiss or discharge; reject: If he doesn’t stop seeing other women she’ll give him his walking papers/ When he objected to the new policy they gave him his running shoes (entry form 1825+)

  • Give someone leg

    verb phrase To deceive someone; fool someone; PULL someone’s LEG: Last time I saw you, you’re giving me a little leg about there’s nothing going on (1970s+)

  • Give someone lip

    verb phrase To speak to someone in an impertinent and offensive way: People get on here all day long and all they do is give me lip/ Don’t be giving me lip (1821+)

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