help (oneself) (to something)

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help (oneself) (to something)

To serve oneself (something); to take, consume, or indulge in (something) freely or without permission or restraint. There's plenty of food in the kitchen, so please, help yourselves to more. The vagrant they had given shelter to for the night helped himself to the family's prized set of silverware. The maps at the information kiosk are free, so tourists are welcome to help themselves.
See also: help

help

 (someone or an animal) (get) over something
1. Lit. to aid someone or an animal climb over something. I helped him get over the wall. I helped the puppy over the barrier.
2. Fig. to aid someone or an animal recover from something. Sharon wanted to help Roger get over his illness. We try to help the families get over the loss of their loved ones.

help

oneself (to something) to take something oneself without asking permission. The thief helped himself to the money in the safe. Help yourself to more dessert.

Help yourself.

Please take what you want without asking permission. Sally: Can I have one of these doughnuts? Bill: Help yourself. Mother led the little troop of my friends to the kitchen table, which was covered with cups of juice and plates of cookies. "Help yourself," she said.
See also: help

help oneself

1. Make an effort on one's own behalf. Shakespeare used this expression in 2 Henry IV (3:2): "She is old, and cannot help herself," and it also appears in the old proverb, God (or heaven) helps those who help themselves. [First half of 1500s] Also see can't help.
2. Serve oneself, as in The food's in the kitchen; just help yourself. When it takes an object this phrase is put as help oneself to, as in I helped myself to more meat. It also is used as a euphemism for stealing, as in She simply helped herself to the hotel towels and left. The first usage dates from the late 1600s; the second, a colloquialism, from the mid-1800s.
See also: help
References in classic literature ?
She tried to recapture a saying she had made to help herself that morning, as Ralph paid the bill for luncheon; but she could see him paying the bill more vividly than she could remember the phrase.
And she's all alone in her room, and lost the use of her limbs and can't stir to help herself or me, and t'other clever one's out, and Lord forgive me!' cried Affery, driven into a frantic dance by these accumulated considerations, 'if I ain't a-going headlong out of my mind!'
Bute said, "because--because she couldn't help herself."
Will you ruin her, because she has not wit to help herself? Get up!
If my family had not abandoned me, I need not have thus left her to help herself. As it was, I had no choice.
She had a little crutch to help herself along with: and she was now standing, looking wistfully up the long staircase, and apparently waiting till she could muster courage to begin the toilsome ascent.
"A woman ain't got the chance to help herself that a man has," he generalized.
The healthiest glow that Hepzibah had known for years had come now in the dreaded crisis, when, for the first time, she had put forth her hand to help herself. The little circlet of the schoolboy's copper coin--dim and lustreless though it was, with the small services which it had been doing here and there about the world --had proved a talisman, fragrant with good, and deserving to be set in gold and worn next her heart.
She has no strength of will or character to help herself and she is on the brink of being sold into wretchedness for life.'
"No; my woman is to stand alone, and help herself," said Rebecca, decidedly.
And, though I don't think your good lady's very friendly to me, in this matter, still she can't help herself from falling into my views, for there's a compactness and cosiness of appearance about her that always tells, even in an indifferent case.
And Park could not but help herself to Japan's delicious food, which would make her 'always [eat].'
KARACHI -- Recently, three women tortured and murdered their 18-year-old domestic worker, Uzma, because she dared to help herself with a serving of food.
She walked out of the house to help herself when suddenly two men who she did not identify appeared from the darkness," she said.
Katie has done little to help herself - and much to damage herself and her relationship with her five children.