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 classic literature ?
Meantime, too, some of the enterprising humorists of the country had helped themselves to such parts of the work as served their needs, and many of its definitions, anecdotes, phrases and so forth, had become more or less current in popular speech.
They saw a fire smouldering upon a great raft a hundred yards above, and they went stealthily thither and helped themselves to a chunk.
Key findings from the report commissioned by wrenkitchens.com reveal that participants helped themselves to an average portion of Special K Original weighing 93g, which is more than three times the recommended portion size.
A crook wearing a ski mask forced entry to the premises in Drip Road and helped themselves to a quantity of goods at the weekend.
Some residents said it was a "God-sent Christmas treat" as they, some motorists and passers-by helped themselves to the beer.Witnesses said the driver lost control of the lorry as the vehicle was going downhill towards Sagana on the steep Kangocho Hill near Kibirigwi shopping centre.
For around PS8 they were given the choice of four different meats carved by two members of staff plus a Yorkshire pudding and then helped themselves to mash potatoes, roast potatoes and half a dozen different vegetables.
Scott Donnachie, Adam Timlin and James Garner all helped themselves to doubles with Steve Turpin and substitute Josh Arnold weighing in.
The One East high-flyers helped themselves to seven tries, centre Ryan Lee bagged a double before the break helping the visitors to a 26-7 advantage.
A SWARM of looters forced their way into a newsagents - and then helped themselves to ice cream.
LIGHT-FINGERED fans have already helped themselves to pieces of Ninian Park.
Craig Morgan and Duncan McCulloch helped themselves to two goals each for Arms, the others being netted by Andy Baker and Mark Green.
But by the time confused drivers realised something was wrong, the men had helped themselves to 16 aluminium signs along the 10-mile route.
START OF AUTHORITY was given a good ride by Jim Crowley to land the 1m handicap at Brighton, but the punters who helped themselves to 22 about the winner in-running must have been nervous when Prince Valentine cruised into contention under a confident-looking Ian Mongan.
But Mick O'Dwyer's men had helped themselves to a hatful of goals by then with Noel Garvan, Padraig Clancy, Gary Kavanagh, Barry Brennan and Beano McDonald all getting in on the act.
Andy Ritchie's men helped themselves to a hat-trick of goals against a Swindon side who already look doomed for the drop.