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Thursday, November 12, 2015

to pal around (with)

Idiom: to pal around (with) (used as a verb)

First Example:

Christina: Have you seen Jackie lately?
Beatrice: No, she seems to spend all her time with Tim.
Christina: They do seem to spend a lot of time together. Do you think they're dating?       
Beatrice: No, they've been palling around together for years. They're best friends.
Christina: Ahh, that makes sense.

Meaning: The expression "to pal around (with)" means to spend time doing things you enjoy with a friend.  In the example above, Jackie and Tim are best friends according to Beatrice, saying they've been "palling around together for years" to emphasize that they often spend time together (and are not romantically involved). Notice that in this example, Beatrice did not use "with;" "with" is only used when a person is the object of the expression, as in the next example: 

Second Example:
Daniel: Hey, want to hang out this weekend
Jennifer: I can't; I have plans with Kelly.
Daniel: You've been palling around with her a lot lately.
Jennifer: Yeah, we just realized we have a lot in common. This weekend, we're going to a music festival. Want to go with?
Daniel: Nah, I can't stand being around that many people. But have fun! 

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

friends in high places

Idiom: friends in high places (used as a noun)

First Example:
Sandra: Did you hear that Ben got the promotion?
Donald: No way! I thought for sure you'd get it!
Sandra: Well, I don't have as many friends in high places.
Donald: What do you mean?
Sandra: Well, he has a few friends in upper management. Something tells me that helped him more than his qualifications...

Meaning: The expression "friends in high places" means to know people in important positions who can help and support you.  In the example above, Sandra claims that Ben has friends in upper management positions, and that these friends in high places are what helped him get the promotion.

Second Example:
Ally: Want to go to a big movie premiere tonight?
Cameron: Sure, but how are we going to get in?
Ally: Let's just say that I've got a few friends in high places.
Cameron: Like who?
Ally: That's not your concern. 
Cameron: But seriously, who?
Ally: OK, fine. I used to babysit the producer of the film. His mom and my mom are friends, so when I heard he was making this movie, my mom called his mom, and she made him give me two tickets. Anyway, do you want to go with me? 
Cameron: Sure! Do you have any embarrassing stories you can share about him?

Meaning: In the second example, Ally doesn't actually have a friend in a traditional position of power; rather, her mother knows the film's producer's mother. Often, the expression "friends in high places" is used like this, in order to suggest a person knows someone important but wants to keep the identity of that person secret. 

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