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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 ?
| Dylan McGann, 22, of Gorsey Lane, Warrington, jailed for five years and 10 months | Chris Potter, 31, of Southworth Avenue, Warrington, jailed for four years and 11 months | Scott Quinn, 22, of Ireland Street, Warrington, jailed for four years | Josh Mercer, 23, of Sandy Lane West, Warrington, jailed for three years and eight months | Liam King, 25, of Digmore Close, Kirkby, jailed for five years and four months | Matthew Spencer, 40, of Peasley Close, Warrington, jailed for six years | Steve Wood, 32, of Firtree Close, Winsford, jailed for eight years and six months | Andrew McElligott, 43, Nixon Drive in Winsford, jailed for nine years | Steve Cowell,31, of Maes Isalaw, Bangor, jailed for six years, eight months
Michael Wilson, 35, of Hylton Avenue, South Shields, has been jailed for life after being found guilty of murder by a jury after a four-day trial.
Jioi Istok, 37, of Kendal Place, Byker, Newcastle, has been jailed for threeand-a-half years after a jury convicted him of blackmail.
Michal Cina, 30, of Dalton Crescent, Byker, Newcastle, has been jailed for three-and-a-half years after a jury convicted him of blackmail.
Luke Brearcliffe, 27, of Bradford, has been jailed for seven-and-a-half months for assaulting police officer in Newcastle.
Charles Doherty, 38, of Bishop Auckland, has been jailed for nine months for fraud.
Robert Sweet, 25, of South Shields, has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to robbery and having an offensive weapon.
John McMurray, 45, of Cruddas Park, Newcastle, has been jailed for two years after pleading guilty to robbery.
Christopher Heayns, 35, of Bedlington, has been jailed for nine-and-a-half years after being convicted of four counts of fraud by false representation and 10 bankruptcy offences.
Colin Gibson, 26, of Alnwick, has been jailed for 16 months and six weeks after pleading guilty to four counts of communicating false information with intent at Newcastle Crown Court.
Martin Cavanagh, 47, of Heworth, Gateshead, has been jailed for six years after he was convicted of robbery.
Garry Robinson, 47, of Whitley Bay, has been jailed for 40 months after he admitted wounding with intent.
Steven Young, 36, of Ashington, Northumberland, has been jailed for 17 months for assault.
On Monday, Emma Mackenzie, 28, of Watford Road, Anfield, was jailed for 834 days, but walked free having served half that time on remand.
RINGLEADER: Paul Whitney who was jailed for nine years JAILED: Michael O'Toole JAILED: Matthew Mayor JAILED: Leslie Whitney JAILED: Carol Whitney JAILED: Michael Waters JAILED: Neil Brady JAILED: Wayne Hincks JAILED: Mary McCabe JAILED: Lisa Whitney JAILED: Thomas Dowd JAILED: Gary Edwards