pinch

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pinch (one) off

vulgar slang To defecate, especially quickly. Give me a minute, I just need to go pinch one off and then I'll be ready to leave.
See also: off, pinch

pinch and scrape

To spend as little money as possible; to be very frugal or tight, especially with the aim of saving up for something bigger. Ever since we had our second child, we've had to pinch and scrape to make sure they both get what they want for Christmas.
See also: and, pinch, scrape

where the shoe pinches

Where trouble or stress originates. I hate to say it, but I think this new project is where the shoe pinches—it's just taking too much of our time with too little payoff.
See also: pinch, shoe

at a pinch

Said of a challenging, but potentially workable, situation. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Sir, I think we can get you on that flight at a pinch, as long as you don't mind waiting around.
See also: pinch

pinch pennies

To spend as little money as possible; to be especially frugal, especially with the aim of saving up for something bigger. Ever since we had our second child, we've had to pinch pennies to make sure they both get what they want for Christmas.
See also: penny, pinch

scrimp and save

To spend as little money as possible; to be especially frugal, especially with the aim of saving up for something bigger. Ever since we had our second child, we've had to scrimp and save to make sure they both get what they want for Christmas.
See also: and, save, scrimp

feel the pinch

To be or feel constrained by recent financial hardship. We've been feeling the pinch since my wife's restaurant closed down; I've had to take on a second job at a convenience store just to make ends meet. Many families are going to feel the pinch if this new tax is passed.
See also: feel, pinch

take (something) with a pinch of salt

To consider or evaluate something, such as a statement, while keeping in mind that it may not be completely true or accurate, typically due to the unreliability of the source. I heard that you can get a free movie ticket if you wear red, but Kevin told me that, so I'm going to take it with a pinch of salt. Take whatever that paper publishes with a pinch of salt—it's really a tabloid.
See also: of, pinch, salt, take

feel pinched

 and feel the pinch
Fig. experiencing hardship because of having too little money. The Smiths used to go abroad every year, but now that he's retired, they're really feeling pinched. You're bound to feel the pinch a little when you're a student.
See also: feel, pinch

in a pinch

as a substitute. A piece of clothing can be used as a bandage in a pinch. In a pinch, you can use folded paper to prop up the table leg so the table won't rock.
See also: pinch

pinch someone for something

Sl. to arrest someone for something. The cops pinched Max for driving without a license. Max was pinched for speeding.
See also: pinch

pinch something back

to pinch off a bit of the top of a plant so it will branch and grow more fully. You should pinch this back so it will branch. Pinch back the new leaves at the top.
See also: back, pinch

pinch something from someone or something

Sl. to steal something from someone or something. Sam pinched an apple from the produce stand. We saw a pickpocket pinch a wallet from an old man.
See also: pinch

pinch something off (of) something

 and pinch something off
to sever something from something by pinching. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Pinch the buds off the lower branches so the one at the top will bloom. Pinch off the lower buds.
See also: off, pinch

pinch-hit for someone

 
1. Fig. to bat for someone else in a baseball game. Wally Wilson will pinch-hit for Gary Franklin. Rodney Jones is pinch-hitting for Babe DiMaggio.
2. Fig. to substitute for someone in any situation. Bart will pinch-hit for Fred, who is at another meeting today. Who will pinch-hit for me while I am on vacation?

scrimp and save

 and pinch and scrape
to be very thrifty; to live on very little money, often in order to save up for something. We had to scrimp and save in order to send the children to college. The Smiths pinched and scraped all year in order to go on a Caribbean cruise.
See also: and, save, scrimp

take something with a pinch of salt

 and take something with a grain of slt
Fig. to listen to a story or an explanation with considerable doubt. You must take anything she says with a grain of salt. She doesn't always tell the truth. They took my explanation with a pinch of salt. I was sure they didn't believe me.
See also: of, pinch, salt, take

feel the pinch

Be affected by hardship, especially straitened finances. For example, This job pays much less, so we're bound to feel the pinch. [Mid-1800s]
See also: feel, pinch

in a pinch

In an emergency, when hard-pressed, as in This music isn't what I would have chosen, but it will do in a pinch. This term dates from the late 1400s, when it was put as at a pinch (a usage still current in Britain); pinch alludes to straitened circumstances.
See also: pinch

pinch hitter

A substitute for another person, especially in an emergency. For example, Pat expected her mother to help with the baby, but just in case, she lined up her mother-in-law as pinch hitter . This expression comes from baseball, where it is used for a player substituting for another at bat at a critical point or in a tight situation (called a pinch since the late 1400s). [Late 1800s]
See also: hitter, pinch

pinch pennies

Be thrifty or miserly, as in There's no need to pinch pennies now that you're working full-time. This term was first recorded in 1942.
See also: penny, pinch

scrimp and save

Economize severely, spend as little as possible, as in For years we had to scrimp and save, but now we can enjoy life more. [Mid-1800s]
See also: and, save, scrimp

with a grain of salt

Also, with a pinch of salt. Skeptically, with reservations. For example, I always take Sandy's stories about illnesses with a grain of salt-she tends to exaggerate. This expression is a translation of the Latin cum grano salis, which Pliny used in describing Pompey's discovery of an antidote for poison (to be taken with a grain of salt). It was soon adopted by English writers.
See also: grain, of, salt

pinch pennies

If someone pinches pennies, they try to spend as little money as possible. States and the federal government are pinching pennies everywhere they can and often cutting arts programs first. Markets are shrinking and customers are pinching pennies. Note: The verb penny pinch has a similar meaning but is more disapproving. Good, lasting floors are an essential in any house, so it does not pay to try and penny pinch. Note: Pennypinching is used as a noun and an adjective, and people who do this are called penny pinchers. He ordered a huge meal. This wasn't a moment for pennypinching. For penny pinchers, a nearby restaurant offers a version of the dish for $10.
See also: penny, pinch

at a pinch

BRITISH or

in a pinch

AMERICAN
COMMON If it is possible to do something at a pinch, it can just be done if it is absolutely necessary. Allow an hour for the dish to stand when it comes out of the oven, but 10-15 minutes will do at a pinch. The ballroom could easily handle two hundred chairs, more in a pinch.
See also: pinch

feel the pinch

COMMON If a person or organization feels the pinch, they do not have as much money as they used to have, and so they cannot buy the things they would like to buy. Poor households were still feeling the pinch and VAT on fuel made matters worse. Economic problems are mounting to the point where ordinary voters are beginning to feel the pinch.
See also: feel, pinch

take something with a pinch of salt

mainly BRITISH or

take something with a grain of salt

mainly AMERICAN
COMMON If you say that someone should take some information with a pinch of salt, you mean that they should not believe it completely because it may not all be accurate or true. Reports from the authorities that the situation is calm should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt. You have to take these findings with a grain of salt because respondents in attitude surveys tend to give the answers they feel they should. Note: A pinch of salt is a small amount of salt held between your thumb and your first finger. Some people believe that this expression refers to the King of Pontus, Mithridates VI, who lived in the first century BC. It is said that he made himself immune to poison by swallowing small amounts of it with a grain of salt. However, other people think that it is a medieval English expression, which suggests that you need to be suspicious of unlikely stories in the same way that you need salt with food.
See also: of, pinch, salt, something, take

pinch

1. n. a small amount of a powdered substance, such as salt, snuff, a spice, etc. (Not slang.) He put a pinch under his lips and walked up to home plate.
2. tv. to arrest someone. The police captain pinched her for passing bad checks.
3. n. the arrest of someone. They made the pinch in front of her house.
4. tv. to steal something. (see also cop.) The kid pinched a candy bar right off the counter.

pinch hitter

1. n. a substitute batter in the game of baseball. Sam is a pinch hitter for Ralph, who broke his wrist.
2. n. any substitute person. In school today we had a pinch hitter. Our teacher was sick.
See also: hitter, pinch

pinched

mod. arrested. (see also cop, pinch.) Sam got pinched for a parole violation.
See also: pinch

with a grain of salt

With reservations; skeptically: Take that advice with a grain of salt.
See also: grain, of, salt

pinch pennies

Informal
To be thrifty or miserly.
See also: penny, pinch
References in periodicals archive ?
Pinches came back and said something to Mr Dicomidis, which he didn't hear, and then assaulted him.
Pinches laughed in open court as Mr Gwynne read the evidence.
Pinches has nine previous offences, and has served a 66-month prison sentence for robbery, the court heard.
Dave Sedgwick, defending, said Pinches had no recollection of the incident because of the alcohol he had drunk, and that he was "extremely sorry".
But an unkind split ended his break of 35 and a few shots later Pinches had his chance of a famous victory.
Pinches said another person had brought the goods there and he was going to be paid with some of the stolen antique rings for looking after them.
Judge William Gaskell said the child's health was one of the reasons Pinches was not being jailed for handling.
Higgins, seeded four this week, thrashed Pinches 5-0 with the aid of breaks of 68 and 132 after the Norwich professional failed to sparkle.
Pinches reached his first ranking quarter-final in 14 years as a pro at the UK Championship in November.
John had good breaks in the first and last frames but I had a load of chances in the others and didn't take them," said Pinches.
Pinches has struggled to stamp his authority at the toplevel, but following his victory over Lee, the world number 36 said: ``It's nice to play to my potential after all this time.
Pinches showed glimpses of his talent when he won the English amateur title in 1988 and finished runner-up to Thailand's James Wattana a year later in the world amateur championship.
Since then I've watched all these young kids coming through and I've never thought they could do something I couldn't do,'' added Pinches.
Donovan and Pinches, of Beechley Drive, Pentrebane, stole a mobile phone and left Mr Fowler with a bleeding nose during the robbery in February.
Robert Hawkins, for Pinches, said the robbery showed 'what drink and stupidity can do'.