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Related to pair: au pair
extra pair of hands
Additional help or assistance provided by another person. I think we need to hire an extra pair of hands to help clean the house and mind the children.
grow a pair
vulgar slang To start acting in a strong, confident, and/or courageous manner, especially after having previously failed to do so. Though short for "grow a pair of testicles/balls" (discretion should be used because of this), the phrase can be said by or of either a male or female. Often used as an imperative. You need to grow a pair and ask your boss for a raise already! Janet, I know you're nervous about asking Tom out on a date, but just grow a pair and give it a shot!
have a pair
vulgar slang To act or behave in a strong, confident, and/or courageous manner. Though short for "have a pair of testicles/balls" (discretion should be used because of this), the phrase can be said by or of either a male or female. Often used with an intensifier, such as "quite a pair" or "a big pair." Primarily heard in US. Crime is really bad in this town, so you've got to have a big pair to be a police officer around here. Wow, your sister must have quite a pair to stand up to her boss like that!
strap on a pair
vulgar slang A derogatory exhortation to start acting in a more masculine manner; that is, to be more direct, aggressive, courageous, self-confident, and other such characteristics that are stereotypically considered to be masculine attributes. ("Pair" here refers to testicles, but the phrase can be said of or by both men and women.) You're never going to get the boss's respect if you keep kowtowing to him like that. You need to strap on a pair and show him that you deserve to be taken seriously! Janet, I know you're nervous about asking Tom out on a date, but just strap on a pair and give it a shot!
safe pair of hands
A trustworthy and competent person. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. That struggling company really needs a leader who is a safe pair of hands and can make some positive changes.
another pair of eyes
Another person to examine or critique something. I need another pair of eyes to look at my term paper because I always make a lot of spelling mistakes. I think we should get another pair of eyes on this ad campaign before we finalize it.
a candidate for a pair of wings
euphemism One who will die soon. This phrase can refer to one who is literally about to die or to one who behaves recklessly. His prognosis isn't good. It sounds like he's a candidate for a pair of wings at this point. If you don't wear your helmet at the skate park, you're a candidate for a pair of wings.
have a good pair of lungs
To be able to cry loudly. My newborn sure has a good pair of lungs, especially at three in the morning!
show (someone) a clean pair of heels
To run or move away from someone at great speed. He showed the mugger a clean pair of heels, skittering down a side alley and escaping out of sight. The runner showed her competitors a clean pair of heels as soon as the race began, and she maintained a comfortable lead throughout.
another pair of eyesand a fresh pair of eyes
Fig. another person to examine something closely in addition to anyone previously. As soon as we can get a fresh pair of eyes on this mansuscipt, we will find the last of the typos.
*candidate for a pair of wings
Euph. someone who is likely to die; someone who is close to death. (Jocular. *Typically: be ~; look like ~.) Whenever Jane wants to cross the street, she just walks out into traffic without looking. She's a candidate for a pair of wings, I say. Tom: How's Bill doing? I heard he was sick. Jane: Not good, I'm afraid. He looks like a candidate for a pair of wings.
look like a candidate for a pair of wings Go to a
candidate for a pair of wings.
[for two people or other creatures] to form a couple or pair. All of them paired off and worked as teams to solve the puzzle. Everyone should pair off and discuss the issue for a while.
pair up (with someone)
to join with someone to make a pair. Sally decided to pair up with Jason for the dance contest. Sally and Jason paired up with each other.
1. Put two persons together; also, become one of a couple, as in Jean mentally paired off her guests whenever she planned a party, or All the tennis players had to pair off for a round of doubles matches. [Late 1600s]
2. Also, pair up. Make a pair of, match, as in I always have trouble pairing up their socks. [Early 1900s]
show one's heels
Also, show a clean pair of heels. Run away, flee, as in He wanted to ask her out but she showed her heels before he had a chance, or As soon as the burglar alarm went off, the housebreaker showed a clean pair of heels. The backs of one's heels are exactly what is seen when one is running away, but the allusion of clean is a bit puzzling, unless it is meant in the colloquial sense of "thorough," as in a clean getaway. [First half of 1500s]
a safe pair of handsmainly BRITISH
If someone is a safe pair of hands, they are good at their job and can be relied on not to make any serious mistakes. He was viewed as a reliable, solid politician — a safe pair of hands. Compare with in safe hands.
show (someone) a clean pair of heelsBRITISH
If you show someone a clean pair of heels or show a clean pair of heels in a race or a competitive situation, you win easily. John and Alison Cheetham showed a clean pair of heels in both of the races on Saturday. The Cairns junior showed them a clean pair of heels again at ANZ Stadium yesterday. Nokia has shown its rivals a clean pair of heels.
someone's only got one pair of hands
People say that someone's only got one pair of hands to mean that there is a limit to the number of things they can do at the same time and they should not be expected to do more than is reasonable. They've only got one pair of hands, and there's so much to do. Just wait a minute, will you — I've only got one pair of hands.
show someone or something a clean pair of heels1 run away from someone or something as fast as possible. 2 demonstrate clear superiority to someone or something.
2 2002 Tom's Hardware Guide How fast does a PC fitted with the most powerful hardware have to be in order to show a clean pair of heels to the world's best PC systems?
I have only got one pair of handsused to deflect further demands for you to do work when you are already extremely busy.
pair of handsa person seen in terms of their participation in a task.
another pair of shoesquite a different matter or state of things.
I’ve only got one pair of ˈhands(spoken) used to say that you are too busy to do anything else: Give me a chance! I’ve only got one pair of hands you know!
a pair of ˈhands(informal) a person who can do, or is doing, a job: We need an extra pair of hands if we’re going to finish on time. ♢ Colleagues regarded him as a safe pair of hands (= somebody who can be relied on to do a job well).
in ˈpairsin groups of two objects or people: Students worked in pairs on the project.
See also: pair
show (somebody) a clean pair of ˈheels(informal)
1 run away: They ran after her, but she showed them a clean pair of heels.
2 get ahead of somebody in a competition: As makers of quality software, they’ve shown the rest of the industry a clean pair of heels.
1. To arrange some things or people in groups of two: The drama coach paired off the students to rehearse scenes. The organizer paired the partygoers off and sent them on a treasure hunt.
2. To form pairs: The dance students paired off and practiced waltzing.
1. To arrange some things or people in groups of two: The gym teacher paired up the students and started a badminton tournament. The organizer paired the volunteers up.
2. To form pairs or a pair: The dance students paired up and practiced waltzing. My best friend and I paired up when our class chose locker partners.