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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
We'll help ourselves to the cake and we will throw them a few crumbs.
How does he expect the elderly and disabled to walk to these bins he says we can help ourselves to salt from if we need it.
As much as we wish we can help ourselves to coming home and to a
He writes: "We live in town but at this time of year, we often drive through the nearby countryside and help ourselves to the boxes of apples, damsons and plums left on the roadside by villagers who have a surplus of fruit.
``We could help ourselves to a certain degree by utilising our slurry tankers for water storage, and placing them at a strategic point on the farm.
"1 don't disagree that the owners and tenants are going to have to join together and help themselves," he said, "but we are partners in the City of New York and it means that we and the city need to help ourselves to get out of this recession."