pair

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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.
See also: extra, hand, of, pair

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!
See also: grow, pair

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!
See also: have, pair

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!
See also: on, pair, strap

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.
See also: hand, of, pair, safe

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.
See also: another, eye, of, pair

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.
See also: candidate, of, pair, wing

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!
See also: good, have, lung, of, pair

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.
See also: clean, heel, of, pair, show

another pair of eyes

 and 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.
See also: another, eye, of, pair

*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.
See also: candidate, of, pair, wing

look like a candidate for a pair of wings Go to a

candidate for a pair of wings.
See also: candidate, like, look, of, pair, wing

pair off

[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.
See also: off, pair

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.
See also: pair, up

pair off

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]
See also: off, pair

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]
See also: heel, show

a safe pair of hands

mainly 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.
See also: hand, of, pair, safe

show (someone) a clean pair of heels

BRITISH
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.
See also: clean, heel, of, pair, show

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.
See also: hand, of, one, pair

show someone or something a clean pair of heels

1 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?
See also: clean, heel, of, pair, show, something

I have only got one pair of hands

used to deflect further demands for you to do work when you are already extremely busy.
See also: hand, have, of, one, pair

pair of hands

a person seen in terms of their participation in a task.
See also: hand, of, pair

another pair of shoes

quite a different matter or state of things.
See also: another, of, pair, shoe

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!
See also: hand, of, one, pair

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).
See also: hand, of, pair

in ˈpairs

in 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.
See also: clean, heel, of, pair, show

pair off

v.
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.
See also: off, pair

pair up

v.
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.
See also: pair, up
References in periodicals archive ?
No single answer automatically emerges to pin down what causes the pairing.
Nonetheless, these results are encouraging for theorists, like Scalapino, who have proposed that pairing results from the way electrons interact with fluctuations in the spins of neighboring copper ions in the crystal lattice.
Mechanisms such as pairing are too simple to account for this behavior, and repulsive interactions between electrons must also be included.
Since we've implemented the Pairing Optimizer, we've seen tremendous improvement in our ability to manage our crew resources," said George Webster, Director of Systems Operations Control for Frontier Airlines.
Sabre Airline Solutions continuously invests in new technology and optimization techniques that make the Pairing Optimizer one of the leading optimizers in the industry.
Airlines, such as these six carriers, can leverage the investments we make, including the versatility of the Pairing Optimizer, to stay competitive in this dynamic marketplace.
To date, airlines around the globe have implemented the Pairing Optimizer on the UNIX platform.
The IBM results may shed light on the particular type of pairing that occurs between two electrons in a high-temperature superconductor.
Such evidence doesn't settle the argument concerning the mechanism by which pairing occurs in high-temperature superconductors, but it may rule out certain possibilities.
To give you a hand, MacDonald offers the following guidelines to help ensure optimal flavor in pairing beer with food:
The same rules that dictate wine and food pairing are true for beer.
com for additional information on Cabot Creamery, numerous recipes and other helpful tips such as Wine & Cheese pairing guidelines.
This year, instead of tossing out a bag of chips, kick off the biggest game of the year (and impress your guests) with the latest trend: beer and food pairings.
Box: (1) City Section Girls' Volleyball Pairings (see text)