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get out of jail free card

1. (sometimes hyphenated) 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. 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!

bail (one) out of jail

To pay for someone'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


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.

clap (someone) in jail

To put someone 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

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

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

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


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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Tyrone Quinn, 20, of Hewitson Terrace, Felling, Gateshead, has been jailed for six years and nine months after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, causing death by driving while disqualified, causing death by driving while uninsured, driving with excess alcohol and driving while unfit through drugs.
Wayne Fada, 33, of Azalea Terrace South, Sunderland has been jailed for 16 months, after he pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation.
Christopher Scott, 26, of of Edendale House, Blyth, has been jailed for three years after pleading guilty to three counts of burglary.
Astrit Malo, 35, of Timon Avenue in Bootle, has been jailed for four years and six months at Newcastle Crown Court for his role in the large scale of supply of drugs to the North East.
Aiden O'Brien, 25, of King's Road, Bedlington, has been jailed for seven years after pleading guilty to wounding with intent and an unrelated affray from January.
23, Alan Tams, 39, of Strathmore Crescent, Gosforth, Newcastle, has been jailed for 40 months after pleading guilty to burglary and attempted burglary.
Jamie Downing, 23, of Wiltshire Road, Witherwack, Sunderland, has been jailed for 20 weeks and handed a 12 month driving ban after being charged with dangerous driving.
Petrit Basha, jailed for repeatedly stabbing his wife
Michael Wilson was jailed for murdering Ronnie Howard
Jioi Istok, 37, from Newcastle, was jailed for blackmail
Jamie Lawson, who has been jailed for dangerous driving
Calvin Parkinson, jailed for setting fire to his home
Gary Norman, jailed for exposing himself to women on buses