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save (one's) own bacon
To rescue or protect oneself from danger, trouble, or difficulty, usually without regard or concern for the welfare of others. In the face of the IRS audit, the CEO was more concerned with saving his own bacon than ensuring his employees' jobs remained secure. Just be sure not to leave yourself exposed in this scandal—you can be sure that the senator is looking to save her own bacon, and you should be doing the same.
save (one's) own hide
To rescue or protect oneself from danger, trouble, or difficulty, usually without regard or concern for the welfare of others. In the face of the IRS audit, the CEO was more concerned with saving his own hide than ensuring his employees' jobs remained secure. Just be sure not to leave yourself exposed in this scandal—you can be sure that the senator is looking to save her own hide, and you should be doing the same.
save (one's) own neck
To rescue or protect oneself from danger, trouble, or difficulty, usually without regard or concern for the welfare of others. In the face of the IRS audit, the CEO was more concerned with saving his own neck than ensuring his employees' jobs remained secure. Just be sure not to leave yourself exposed in this scandal—you can be sure that the senator is looking to save her own neck, and you should be doing the same.
A redeeming quality of something or someone. The only saving grace about that house is the large eat-in kitchen. Aunt Gertrude's incessant talking can be annoying, but her kindness is her saving grace—I know that she would help us with anything, no questions asked.
skimp and save
To reduce or limit one's spending in order to save money. I'd love to go out to dinner with you, but I'm really skimping and saving right now. I'm sorry, honey, but your father and I can't afford to buy you a new bike right now—you'll have to work more hours and skimp and save.
save (one's) blushes
To prevent someone from feeling embarrassed or awkward. Due to your family's great service to the crown, we will save your blushes and not create a public scandal around this debacle. I tried saving her blushes when she asked me to prom by saying I had no intention of going with anyone.
save (one's) own skin
To rescue or protect oneself from danger, trouble, or difficulty, usually without concern for the welfare of others. In the face of the audit, the CEO was more worried with saving his own skin than ensuring his employees' jobs wouldn't be put into jeopardy. Just be sure not to leave yourself exposed in this scandal. You can be sure that the senator is looking to save her own skin, and you should be doing the same.
dip into (one's) savings
To take money from one's savings account in small amounts. When my car broke down, I had to dip into my savings to pay for all of the repairs.
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.
To try to regain favorable standing after something embarrassing has happened. I was late to the meeting but tried to save face by blaming an urgent call. There's no way for Audrey to save face now that the entire company knows she embezzled money.
save (something) for a rainy day
To reserve something, especially money, for use in a time or period of unforeseen difficulty, trouble, or need. I know you want to buy a new TV with your bonus, but you should really save that money for a rainy day. I save a portion of my wages each month for a rainy day.
save up (for something)
To put aside money in small increments in order to accumulate savings (typically to be able to buy something). We'll have to save up if we want to take that vacation to Greece next summer. I've stopped eating out at restaurants so I can save up for a new car.
save the day
To manage to produce a good result or make something successful when failure or misfortune seem imminent. Facing elimination from the playoffs, the team's star quarterback threw an incredible pass for a last-minute touchdown and saved the day. I thought we'd have to cancel the birthday party, but John saved the day by dressing up as a clown and entertaining Tommy and his friends.
save (one's) face
To try to regain favorable standing after something embarrassing has happened; to give or afford someone an opportunity to avoid embarrassment, humiliation, or shame. I tried to offer an explanation that incorporated elements of what he'd said as a means of saving his face after such an awkward presentation. There's no way for Audrey to save her face now that the entire company knows she embezzled money.
save (an amount of) (money) on (something)
To conserve or avoid spending (an amount of) money on something. You could save on your electricity bills if you stopped running the air conditioning so often. I saved over $200 on my flights by using this discount service. I'm hoping to save some money on a new computer during the Black Friday sales.
save (one's) hide
To rescue someone from failure, danger, or disaster; to prevent something bad from happening to someone. Thanks for bringing me some extra cash—you really saved my hide, there! The company is in dire need of new investors to save their hide.
save (something) for another (time, day, week, etc.)
To reserve or save something for some future point or event. I'm sorry we didn't get a chance to do the hang-gliding—I guess we'll just have to save it for another day. Don't throw those decorations out! We can save them for another occasion down the line!
save room (for)
To refrain from eating too much so that one still has an appetite for something else later on. I hope you saved room for dessert—my mother saved her famous blueberry crumble! You can have a light snack, but make sure you save room—we'll be having dinner in a couple hours.
dip into one's savings
Fig. to take out part of the money one has been saving. (See also dip in(to something).) I had to dip into my savings in order to pay for my vacation. I went to the bank and dipped into savings. There wasn't much left.
in the interest of saving time
in order to hurry things along; in order to save time. Mary: In the interest of saving time, I'd like to save questions for the end of my talk. Bill: But I have an important question now! "In the interest of saving time," said Jane, "I'll give you the first three answers."
save the day
to produce a good result when a bad result was expected. The team was expected to lose, but Sally made three points and saved the day. Your excellent speech calmed the crowd and saved the day.
Cliché the one thing that saves or redeems someone or something that would otherwise be a total disaster. Her saving grace is that she has a lot of money. The saving grace for the whole evening was the good music played by the band.
scrimp and saveand 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.
Avoid humiliation or embarrassment, preserve dignity, as in Rather than fire him outright, they let him save face by accepting his resignation. The phrase, which uses face in the sense of "outward appearances," is modeled on the antonym lose face. [Late 1800s]
save the day
Prevent a misfortune, as in They had forgotten the knife to cut the wedding cake, but Elizabeth arrived with one and saved the day .
saving grace, a
A redeeming quality, especially one compensating for drawbacks or negative characteristics. For example, She may not be too knowledgeable, but her saving grace is that she doesn't pretend to be . This term, dating from the late 1500s, at first referred to the concept of being saved from eternal damnation, and was used more loosely only from the late 1800s on.
See also: saving
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]
save the day
COMMON If someone or something saves the day in a situation which seems likely to fail, they manage to make it successful. Suddenly there were ten deer charging straight towards me, but the shooting practice drilled into me in the school training corps saved the day. After a disastrous first night for the show, it was Biggs who stepped in to save the day.
save (something) for a rainy day
If you save for a rainy day or save money for a rainy day, you save some of your money in case there are emergencies or problems in the future. Saving for a rainy day and paying off debts is now a top priority for families. Job loss fears are forcing millions of consumers to save for a rainy day rather than borrow. Note: Verbs such as keep, put by and set aside are sometimes used instead of save. These people spent the money when they had it. They did not put it by for a rainy day!
COMMON If you save face, you do something so that people continue to respect you and your reputation is not damaged. Most children have a need to save face in front of their friends. Last Wednesday Poland somehow allowed the United States to take a three-goal lead before slightly saving face by scoring two themselves. Note: You can also talk about face-saving or a face-saving action. There have been no negotiations, no compromises and no attempts at face-saving. Officials are looking for a face-saving way to back down. Note: An action or excuse which enables someone to save face can be called a face-saver. The hope is that this exchange of prisoners will give the kidnappers the face-saver they need to release the hostages. Compare with lose face. Note: This comes from a Chinese expression which refers to keeping a calm expression and managing to avoid the disgrace of revealing one's emotions.
a saving grace
COMMON A saving grace is a good quality or feature in someone or something that prevents them from being completely bad or worthless. He was bad-tempered and deeply opinionated but he had one saving grace: he assembled one of the greatest private art collections of this century. It's an excellent performance and one of the film's few saving graces.
save faceretain respect; avoid humiliation.
1994 Thomas Boswell Cracking Show And Rose got to save face, at least in his own eyes, with one last brassy news conference.
save the day (or situation)find or provide a solution to a difficulty or disaster.
1990 Richard Critchfield Among the British When the postwar social fabric started to tear, amid a stagnant economy and global decline…Edward Heath…was supposed to save the day. He failed to deliver.