hall


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Related to hall: Hall of Fame

(You) can't fight city hall.

Fig. There is no way to win in a battle against a bureaucracy. Bill: I guess I'll go ahead and pay the tax bill. Bob: Might as well. You can't fight city hall. Mary: How did things go at your meeting with the zoning board? Sally: I gave up. Can't fight city hall.
See also: city, fight, hall

can't fight City Hall

Unable to overcome bureaucratic rules, as in Brad couldn't get a permit without going through channels-you can't fight City Hall! This term transfers the seat of city government to a more general sense of bureaucracy in any sphere. [Mid-1800s]
See also: city, fight, hall

You can’t fight city hall

sent. You cannot fight a bureaucracy. You can’t fight city hall. Pay the parking ticket and forget it.
See also: city, fight, hall

go fight city hall

The futility of challenging entrenched politicians or establishment. Although sounding like a call to action, the phrase means that any effort to succeed against bureaucracy is doomed to failure. It was popularized, although not coined, in the book Go Fight City Hall by Ethel Rosenberg, who with her husband Julius was later executed after being convicted of spying for Russia.
See also: city, fight, hall
References in classic literature ?
The terror of seeing him as she saw him now was not the terror she had felt when her eyes first lighted on him -- an apparition in the moon-light, a specter in the ghostly Hall.
Elgitha, let thy Lady Rowena, know we shall not this night expect her in the hall, unless such be her especial pleasure.
After he had kissed her Aladdin said: "I beg of you, Princess, in God's name, before we speak of anything else, for your own sake and mine, tell me what has become of an old lamp I left on the cornice in the hall of four-and-twenty windows, when I went a-hunting.
twelve o'clock Barrymore, finding the hall door still open,
A voice, `Yes,' and considerable interruption which ended in several men being put out of the hall.
he cried, "while I have been fooled in this way, what has this other Hall Pycroft been doing at Mawson's?
A slave rushed into the dining hall to cry that a great concourse of people was swarming through the palace gates.
Through the deep lattice windows I had seen into the lighted hall.
With the reader's consent, we will endeavor to retrace in thought, the impression which he would have experienced in company with us on crossing the threshold of that grand hall, in the midst of that tumultuous crowd in surcoats, short, sleeveless jackets, and doublets.
Then down they had come at last to hover over City Hall Park, and it had crept in upon his mind,, chillingly, terrifyingly, that these illuminated black masses were great offices afire, and that the going to and fro of minute, dim spectres of lantern-lit grey and white was a harvesting of the wounded and the dead.
They entered the large hall, from which one of the doors led to the apartments assigned to Prince Vasili.
The doorway of the glass palace was quite big enough for the horse and buggy to enter, so Zeb drove straight through it and the children found themselves in a lofty hall that was very beautiful.
To the banquet hall he went, knowing that his chiefs awaited him there and as he entered they arose and upon the faces of many were incredulity and amaze, for they had not thought to see O-Tar the jeddak again after what the spies had told them of the horrid sounds issuing from the chamber of O-Mai.
With a shriek that might have been heard at Lewes she dropped the dish upon the stone floor, and, turning, ran, still shrieking at the top of her lungs, straight for the great dining hall.
Just before it reached the Hall it seemed to turn inland and then come back again.