spare

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home, James (, and don't spare the horses)

A humorous directive for a driver to take one home directly and without delay. Thank goodness you finally came to pick me up. Home, James, and don't spare the horses! You know, shouting "home, James" every time you get in the car is starting to get a little tiresome.
See also: and, spare

spare (someone's) blushes

To keep from making someone feel embarrassed or awkward. However, due to your family's great service to the crown, we will spare your blushes and not create a public scandal around this debacle. I tried sparing her blushes when she asked me to prom by saying I had no intention of going with anyone.
See also: blush, spare

spare tyre

1. A layer of excess fat around one's midsection. Primarily heard in UK. I think I need to lay off the lager, because this spare tyre of mine is getting a bit out of hand.
2. An unhelpful, unnecessary, unproductive, or unwanted person in a group. Primarily heard in UK. There are a few spare tyres on this project who are really holding back our progress. Ever since John's girlfriend started hanging out with us, it's left me feeling like a spare tyre.
See also: spare, tyre

spare at the spigot and spill at the bung

To be frugal with trivial matters and reckless with more significant ones. The phrase describes the incongruity of turning off water at the spigot but leaving the bung, or stopper, off the reservoir. A: "Dad never lets us turn the heat up in the winter because it's too expensive, yet he ignores any problem around the house until it becomes a major repair." B: "I know, he always spares at the spigot and spills at the bung." I know you like to spare at the spigot and spill at the bung, but you would save so much money in the long run if you got a new car, instead of repairing all these nagging issues.
See also: and, bung, spare, spill

with time to spare

Without exceeding the time allotted or anticipated; earlier than required. Wow, with all that traffic, I can't believe I got home with time to spare! I finished my test with time to spare.
See also: spare, time

and (something) to spare

With something extra or left over. A: "Did you really buy all of your Christmas gifts already?" B: "Yes, and money to spare!"
See also: and, spare

be going spare

To be available for one to take or claim. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. If that cake is going spare, I'll take a few pieces home with me.
See also: going, spare

be like a spare prick at a wedding

slang To feel awkward and out of place at an event. Primarily heard in UK. I don't know anyone here, so I've been like a spare prick at a wedding, just standing in the corner by myself.
See also: like, prick, spare, wedding

and something to spare

 and with something to spare
Fig. with extra left over; with more than is needed. I had as much flour as I needed with some to spare. Fred said he should have enough cash to last the week—with money to spare.
See also: and, spare

enough and some to spare

Fig. plenty. Would you like some more pie? We've got enough and some to spare. Mary: Can I borrow a cup of milk? Tom: Don't worry about borrowing. Take it. I have enough and some to spare.
See also: and, enough, spare

have something to spare

Fig. to have more than enough of something. Ask John for some firewood. He has firewood to spare. Do you have any candy to spare?
See also: have, spare

in one's spare time

in one's extra time; in the time not reserved for work or doing something else. I write novels in my spare time. I'll try to paint the house in my spare time.
See also: spare, time

not a moment to spare

 and without a moment to spare
just in time; with no extra time. Hurry, hurry! There's not a moment to spare! I arrived without a moment to spare.
See also: moment, not, spare

spare someone something

to exempt someone from having to listen to or experience something. I'll spare you the details and get to the point. Please, spare me the story and tell me what you want.

spare the rod and spoil the child.

Prov. You should punish a child when he or she misbehaves, because if you do not, the child will grow up expecting everyone to indulge him or her. Jane: How can you allow your little boy to be so rude? Ellen: It distresses me to punish him. Jane: lean understand that, but spare the rod and spoil the child.
See also: and, child, rod, spare, spoil

spare tire

 
1. a thickness in the waist; a roll of fat around one's waist. I've got to get rid of this spare tire. The spare tire started when I was twenty-six.
2. an unneeded person; an unproductive person. Gary is a spare tire. Send him home. You spare tires over there! Get to work.
See also: spare, tire

spare no effort to do something

to work as hard as possible to achieve something Emergency services have spared no effort to help people whose homes were destroyed by the tornadoes.
Related vocabulary: spare no expense
See also: effort, spare

spare no expense

to not consider the cost of something The team spared no expense in hiring players last year.
Related vocabulary: spare no effort to do something
See also: expense, spare

have something to spare

to have something available to use I'm doing a survey and I wonder if you have five minutes to spare.
See also: have, spare

save/spare somebody's blushes

  (British & Australian)
to do something to prevent someone feeling embarrassed Granger saved the team's blushes by scoring the only goal in the last five minutes of the game. The audience's blushes were spared because the censors had removed all the explicit sex scenes from the film.
See also: blush, save

no expense is spared

if no expense is spared in arranging something, a lot of money is spent to make it extremely good No expense was spared in making the guests feel comfortable.
See and hang the cost
See also: expense, spare

be going spare

  (British & Australian)
if something is going spare, you can have it because no one else wants it 'Do you want some more cheesecake?' 'Yes, if it's going spare.'
See also: going, spare

be like a spare prick at a wedding

  (British taboo, humorous)
to feel silly because you are present at an event but no one needs you and no one is talking to you Everyone else there had come with their partners and I was left feeling like a spare prick at a wedding.
See also: like, prick, spare, wedding

Don't spare the horses.

  (Australian informal)
something that you say to someone in order to tell them to hurry Go and buy some milk and don't spare the horses.
See also: horse, spare

go spare

  (British & Australian informal)
to become very angry She'd go spare if she found out he was spending all that money.
See save blushes
See also: spare

spare the rod and spoil the child

Discipline is necessary for good upbringing, as in She lets Richard get away with anything-spare the rod, you know. This adage appears in the Bible (Proverbs 13:24) and made its way into practically every proverb collection. It originally referred to corporal punishment. It is still quoted, often in shortened form, and today does not necessarily mean physical discipline.
See also: and, child, rod, spare, spoil

spare tire

Fat around one's middle, as in He's determined to lose ten pounds and that spare tire he's acquired. This expression transfers the term for an extra tire carried in cars in case of a flat tire to excess fat around the waist. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
See also: spare, tire

to spare

In addition to what is needed, extra, left over, as in We paid our bills and still had money to spare. This expression uses spare in the sense of "leftover" or "unused," a usage dating from the late 1500s.
See also: spare

spare tire

1. n. a thickness in the waist; a roll of fat around one’s waist. The spare tire started when I was twenty-six.
2. n. an unneeded person; an unproductive person. Gary is a spare tire. Send him home.
See also: spare, tire

to spare

In addition to what is needed: We paid our bills and had money to spare.
See also: spare
References in periodicals archive ?
In subsequent novels the writer will limit himself to a single narrative strategy, and those strategies tend to be marked by spareness rather than, as here, by luxuriousness.
At any one time you might see curvilinear headboards and rockers showing a Shaker simplicity, chairs with expressive Craftsmanlike joinery, tables that reflect a Japanese spareness of form and structure, sideboards that recall the angular modernity of Scandinavian design, and freestanding cabinetry with a whimsical, cartoonlike style.
An aesthetic of spareness is announced in the terse note form and austere typeface, shorn of serifs.
Bright colors and high-tech fabrications add energy to architectural spareness.
It was this sense of unmediated reality, and the lack of excessive manipulation, the pared down spareness, that so charged Andre Bazin.
Given the spareness of foreign flag vessel accidents in our data, we restrict vessel accidents to those of U.
The liveliness of Biltereyst's work is more Neo-concrete than Concrete, more Lygia Clark than Josef Albers, and the overall spareness is evocative of graphic design.
Cezanne's carefully composed pyramids of fruit, with their surfaces constructed out of brushstrokes of artfully modulated colour, have a spareness that prefigures so much later art.
Where a good deal of what passes now for experimental poetry mistakes aridity for spareness, and where "avant-garde" seems too often to be synonymous with a mumblecore of vague discursiveness, Barrett opts for tactile imagery abstracted and collaged together with statements that emerge from experience.
The cue's spareness is a strategic astringency' (p.
Valentine makes a virtue out of spareness, producing increasingly elliptical lyrics to entice readers.
Although most previous McGahern novels had a sense of society (for all their spareness they never allowed society to vanish altogether as it does in Beckett's fiction), they tended to focus on one, frequently distorted or incomplete but nevertheless nuclear family such as the Reegans, (8) Mahoneys, (9) or the Morans.
But for the most part, van Manen strips away ornamentation, creating a sense of spareness and coolness.
Every note really does count here, and frequent spareness of texture allows attention to focus upon the words.
Dramatic events, deep emotions, yet the poetry format keeps it all in control, with a spareness that causes a powerful response in the reader.