help (oneself) (to something)

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help (oneself) (to something)

To serve oneself (something); to take, consume, or indulge in (something) freely or without permission or restraint. There's plenty of food in the kitchen, so please, help yourselves to more. The vagrant they had given shelter to for the night helped himself to the family's prized set of silverware. The maps at the information kiosk are free, so tourists are welcome to help themselves.
See also: help

help

 (someone or an animal) (get) over something
1. Lit. to aid someone or an animal climb over something. I helped him get over the wall. I helped the puppy over the barrier.
2. Fig. to aid someone or an animal recover from something. Sharon wanted to help Roger get over his illness. We try to help the families get over the loss of their loved ones.

help

oneself (to something) to take something oneself without asking permission. The thief helped himself to the money in the safe. Help yourself to more dessert.

Help yourself.

Please take what you want without asking permission. Sally: Can I have one of these doughnuts? Bill: Help yourself. Mother led the little troop of my friends to the kitchen table, which was covered with cups of juice and plates of cookies. "Help yourself," she said.
See also: help

help oneself

1. Make an effort on one's own behalf. Shakespeare used this expression in 2 Henry IV (3:2): "She is old, and cannot help herself," and it also appears in the old proverb, God (or heaven) helps those who help themselves. [First half of 1500s] Also see can't help.
2. Serve oneself, as in The food's in the kitchen; just help yourself. When it takes an object this phrase is put as help oneself to, as in I helped myself to more meat. It also is used as a euphemism for stealing, as in She simply helped herself to the hotel towels and left. The first usage dates from the late 1600s; the second, a colloquialism, from the mid-1800s.
See also: help
References in classic literature ?
If she won't give me the information I want, the conclusion is obvious -- I must help myself.
Yes,' he replied, 'I know enough, and can help myself splendidly.
She had already secretly disobeyed him by asking her father to help them, and he had ended decisively by saying, "I am more likely to want help myself.
Shelby; "and I respect your feelings, too, though I don't pretend to share them to their full extent; but I tell you now, solemnly, it's of no use--I can't help myself.
I'm so awfully fond of you that I can't help myself.
Having in vain attempted to raise his hand to his eyes, he said to Wamba, who, seeing his master's ill humour had prudently retreated to the rear, ``I pray thee, do me the kindness to wipe my eyes with the skirt of thy mantle; the dust offends me, and these bonds will not let me help myself one way or another.
Why, monsieur the superintendent, I only want one valet de chambre, for my part, and even if I were alone, could help myself very well; but you, you who have so many enemies -- a hundred men are not enough for me to defend you with.
But he held me tight, so I stopped because I could not help myself.
I told you it was a dreadful accident, my loving him; but I can't help myself.
I have had a long walk, and I may venture to help myself in this house without invitation.
A hungry man must be fed," quoth he, "so, sweet chuck, I help myself without leave.
I don't see how I could construe that into an invitation to go and sit on his lap and help myself out of his pockets.
Although it was at my own expense, I could not help myself.
But, first, as I am rather shaken by the knocking about which I had in the dressing-room, I think that I shall help myself to a dash of your brandy, Colonel.
She tried to persuade me not to come, but I couldn't help myself, just for one minute.