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Give someone the once-over

verb phrase

To examine quickly; glance at, esp with a view to evaluation or identification; check out: That guy in the corner is giving us the once-over/ I gave her papers the once-over and figured she qualified (1915+)
Also, give someone the eye. Look or stare at someone with interest. For example, The new coach gave the team the once-over before introducing himself, or He gave her the eye and she blushed. The first expression, a colloquialism, generally implies a quick but comprehensive survey or assessment. The variant, a slangy usage sometimes amplified to give the glad eye, often signifies an inviting glance. [ Early 1900s ]
Also see: make eyes at


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  • Give someone the pink slip

    verb phrase To discharge or dismiss; can, fire (1915+)

  • Give someone the raspberry

    verb phrase To make a noise expressing displeasure or contempt: audience gave her the raspberry for such distasteful jokes

  • Give someone the runaround

    verb phrase To be deceptive and persistently evasive with someone: Don’t give me the runaround (1924+)

  • Give someone the sack

    verb phrase To dismiss someone; terminate employment [1825+; origin uncertain; the phrase donner son sac, ”to give him his sack,” has been current in French since the 1600s; sack may be ”traveling bag, bindle”]

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