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bail (one) out of jail

To pay for one's release from jail. I have to go bail my brother out of jail again. I wonder what he did this time.
See also: bail, jail, of, out

clap (one) in jail

To put one in jail, often abruptly. You can't just clap someone in jail! What are the charges here?
See also: clap, jail

get out of jail

To narrowly avoid problems, defeat, or failure, often in sports. Primarily heard in UK. I doubt we'll get out of jail with the way their offense is overwhelming us.
See also: get, jail, of, out

get out of jail free card

1. Something that will immediately resolve or relieve an undesirable situation, especially that which results in no or minimal consequences. A reference to the board game Monopoly, in which this card allows players to leave the jail space without missing a turn. (Sometimes hyphenated as "get-out-of-jail-free.") I'm afraid there's no get out of jail free card when it comes to your taxes—you either pay them, or you pay the fine. Jonathan used his father's position in politics as a get-out-of-jail-free card to help get his drunk driving charge dismissed.
2. Something that allows or is used as an excuse for poor decisions, results, standards, behavior, etc. Sometimes hyphenated. Just because a book is part of a highly regarded series doesn't mean it has some get out of jail free card allowing it to be formulaic and poorly written.
See also: card, free, get, jail, of, out


Someone who is attractive but younger than the legal age of consent. I'd stay away from jailbait like her unless you want to spend your future days in a cell!


To remove restrictions from an electronic device, typically a cell phone, so that one can use unauthorized software on it. I need someone to jailbreak my phone so that I can configure it the way I want.


Capable of using unauthorized software due to having had restrictions removed, as of a cell phone or other electronic device. I need to get a jailbroken phone so that I can configure it the way I want.

tail 'em, nail 'em, and jail 'em

The strategy of following someone who is on probation or parole with the strict, likely prejudicial intent of arresting them immediately when they do anything that would breach the terms of their probation or parole. The sheriff's office has a strict policy of tail 'em, nail 'em, and jail 'em in this county, so if you don't want to go back to prison, then you had best walk the straight and narrow for the entirety of your parole. Studies are increasingly showing that "tail 'em, nail 'em, and jail 'em" policies don't reduce crime, they just keep our prisons overflowing with inmates.
See also: and, jail, nail, tail
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bail someone out of jail

 and bail someone out 
1. Lit. to deposit a sum of money that allows someone to get out of jail while waiting for a trial. John was in jail. I had to go down to the police station to bail him out. I need some cash to bail out a friend!
2. Fig. to help someone who is having difficulties. When my brother went broke, I had to bail him out with a loan.
See also: bail, jail, of, out
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

get out of jail

COMMON If you get out of jail, especially in a sports match, you only just succeed in avoiding defeat or a difficult situation. Mills accepted his side had been lucky: `I've never seen Josh Smith miss so many kicks at goal, so you could say we got out of jail.' Note: You can also say that someone plays or has a get-out-of-jail card or a get-out-of-jail-free card. They were not having their greatest game but they played the get-out-of-jail card. Note: This expression comes from the game `Monopoly', where players can use a special card in order to leave jail early.
See also: get, jail, of, out
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

clap someone in jail (or irons)

put someone in prison (or in chains).
The meaning of clap in these idioms is somewhat removed from the original one of ‘make a sudden explosive sound’. Over time the word developed the additional sense of ‘make a sudden action’, without necessarily implying any sound.
See also: clap, jail, someone
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017


and nailer
n. the police in general; a police officer. Old nail-em-and-jail-em is going to be knocking at your door any day now. Victor mooned a nailer and almost got nailed.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"What we do on any significant event that occurs in the jail, we perform a thorough review and we've just started it," Capt.
Buxur jail is one of the few prisons in India where Manila ropes are manufactured.
In 1977, Judge William Webster wrote the following in an Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, "Solutions to tough problems are not found in repression of ideas." Jails: An ACA Reader, is an inexpensive and refreshing book that offers innovative ideas to improve a jail's operation and efficiency.
With the failure of any sort of regulation, criminal justice advocates and jail standards commission staff report that substandard conditions and deaths continue.
Although not a study of small jails, per se, Kellar's (2001) analysis of survey data from Texas county jail administrators provides considerable insight into some problems with smaller facilities.
"Then I went to the police to report that I had harmed my brother." The police jailed him, then moved him to Maula Prison a week later.
Most of the women who had spent time in jail had been incarcerated for minor offenses.
The jail system in Maricopa County is well known for its practice of requiring inmates to wear pink underwear, and it is notorious for using stun guns and restraint chairs.
The commission voted 3-2 to relocate the jail from its current, overcrowded home in downtown Eutaw to the landfill site.
Less than 2 percent of the general population currently suffers from any of the three disorders, whereas the urban jail rate surpasses 6 percent.
Lahore -- The Punjab Government on Tuesday released 51 prisoners from different jails in compliance with the announcement of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar about granting special remission of two months.
From March to June 2019, seven new jail facilities were already inaugurated, including the Quezon City Jail Female Dorm, constructed for P68 million; the Bacoor City Jail, P40 million, Imus City Jail, P32 million, the Tagbilaran City Jail, and the Talisay City Jail.
The petition was filed through Advocate Syed Farhad Ali Shah who implored the court that his client Rana Sanaullah was a heart and diabetic patient who needs home-cooked food rather than those prepared in jail without bothering the patients.
KHANEWAL -- Deputy Commissioner Ashfaq Ahmed Ch has ordered the officials concerned to provide missing facilities at District Jail.
ISLAMABAD -- The authorities shifted more than 200 political detainees from Central Jail, Srinagar to jails in Kathua, Kupwara, Baramulla, Mattan and Islamabad, Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) since April this year.