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a Roland for an Oliver

An exchange, especially in battle, in which that which is given is equal in measure and might to that which is received. Named for the two legendary medieval knights Roland and Oliver, who fought for the emperor Charlemagne. Their feats and powers were so equally matched that they were considered to be equal measures of military prowess. The rebels might have scored a victory against us earlier, but we'll be sure to give them a Roland for an Oliver in our next offensive.
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die like Roland

To die from hunger or thirst. The phrase refers to Roland, a legendary French hero who is thought to have survived the battle of Roncesvalles, only to die of starvation and thirst while crossing the Pyrenees in 778 CE. Come on, man, if we don't stop for food and drinks soon, I'm going to die like Roland! A: "Can't you hear my stomach growling?" B: "All right, all right, we'll take a dinner break so you don't die like Roland!"
See also: die, like, Roland

a Roland for an Oliver

an effective or appropriate retort or response; tit for tat. archaic
The phrase alludes to the evenly matched single combat between Roland, the legendary nephew of Charlemagne, and Oliver, another of Charlemagne's knights (paladins). Neither man was victorious and a strong friendship subsequently developed between them. According to the French medieval epic the Chanson de Roland, Roland was in command of the rearguard of Charlemagne's army when it was ambushed at Roncesvalles (now Roncevaux) in the Pyrenees in 778 ; despite the urging of Oliver that he should blow his horn to summon aid, Roland refused to do so until too late, and they were slain along with the rest of the rearguard.
See also: Roland
References in periodicals archive ?
the shoulder you got a future here kid keep it up and next time one of the guys gets a finger sliced off who knows meantime whirling can lids are flying all over the place and Roland starts getting a little bored with the five quick motions needed to tie a
Roland went back to Doug, who lay on the ground holding his knee.
This strategy is paying off, as revealed by the rating as number 3 in "Differentiation": The great variety of topics addressed by Roland Berger studies covering key developments in different sectors early on convinced the experts.
It's looking like a split pot but the turn is the 6 of hearts and the river is the Queen of hearts, giving Roland runner, runner for the nut flush.
Roland got a job at Wingate Secondary Modern School, while Pat became a primary school teacher.
Roland thanked her in his letter and said not to worry.
They had already begun rehearsals--one day a week--of what Roland refers to as their "regular" work, in this instance a concert of the couple's sleek, contemporary choreography that will be shown in Portland in June.
Throughout Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes, for example, he refers to himself in the third person, as if he were "more or less dead.
A whole new look is in store for Richard Childress Racing (RCR) thanks to wide-format inkjet printing technology from Roland DGA Corp.
Allen will be one of 50 Baltimore nurses saluted in the May issue for "going beyond the call of duty" as a Registered Nurse at Roland Park Place.
Roland Contemporary Keyboards has added the HPi-7 new digital piano to the HPi-Series.
Then Roland is blackmailed by a teacher into investigating a fellow student, a standoffish girl named Jess Ferret, and his whole life changes.
Roland used to be a tour guide at the World Trade Center, he said, and was scheduled to work the morning of Sept.
Rattled Roland Blunk has had his name spelled wrongly so often that he has had them framed around his restaurant.
Students can use the design software of their choice to design and manufacture products with Roland mills and cutters