Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
give (someone) the/a two-finger salute
To make a rude gesture at someone by raising one's index and middle fingers in their direction The car behind me had been honking at me to go faster, so I just gave him a two-finger salute when he eventually passed by. I threw the customer out of the restaurant when I caught him giving a member of our waitstaff the two-finger salute.
give (someone) the/a two-fingered salute
To make a rude gesture at someone by raising one's index and middle fingers in their direction The car behind me had been honking at me to go faster, so I just gave him a two-fingered salute when he eventually passed by. I threw the customer out of the restaurant when I caught him giving a member of our waitstaff the two-fingered salute.
A raising of the middle finger, a rude gesture of anger, displeasure, or dismissal; "the finger." The car behind me was honking at me to go faster, so I just gave him a one-finger salute.
raise the flag and see who salutes
To suggest something in order to gauge interest in it. It's a controversial plan, so just raise the flag and see who salutes. Their reactions will give us a good idea of how to proceed.
run it up the flagpole (and see who salutes)
cliché To test out an idea in order to gauge interest or gain feedback. It's a good idea, but you should run it up the flagpole before you pitch it to the board of directors. A: "How do you think employees would react to this policy?" B: "Well, let's run it up the flagpole and see who salutes."
1. verb To hoist or raise something, especially a flag. A noun or pronoun can be used between "run" and "up." Make sure the flag does not touch the ground as you run it up in the mornings.
2. verb To accumulate a large bill or debt that one is obliged to pay. We ran up a huge bill staying in that luxury resort in Las Vegas, but Jake insisted on paying for it. Apparently, he ran up a lot of credit card debts that he couldn't pay off, so he slipped across the border to Canada.
3. verb To cause the value of something to increase. A noun or pronoun can be used between "run" and "up." News of the company doubling production of their very popular tablet device has run their shares up to record highs.
4. verb To run and stop in front of someone or something. I just saw the neighbor kid run up and ring our doorbell. She ran up to me and gave me a huge hug.
5. verb In sports, to continue adding to one's score despite an assured victory due to a large lead, a practice considered poor sportsmanship. They're already ahead by 30, and now they're just running up the score.
6. noun An increase, perhaps a rapid or sudden one. Typically hyphenated. Experts are attributing the run-up in price to a sudden surge in demand.
7. noun The period of time before an event or occurrence. Typically hyphenated. There was no shortage of predictions in the run-up to the election.
salute (one) with (something)
1. To recognize a superior with a particular or prescribed gesture. The soldiers all saluted the king with outstretched hands. We always salute the president of the organization with a raising of the flags whenever she arrives or departs.
2. To greet, recognize, or address one with some kind of gesture. I saluted him with a tip of my hat as I walked by. She didn't salute me with so much as a smile or a nod of the head.
3. To honor or pay respect to one with some kind of gesture. Each Memorial Day, military batteries salute soldiers who fell in battle with a 21-gun salute. The newspapers saluted the pilot with headlines proclaiming her a national hero.
salute the colors
To salute the flag or military banners, as of a particular country or region. Once the color guard walked on to the field, everyone in the crowd turned to salute the colors.
The computer keystroke control-alt-delete, commonly used to force programs to close or the computer to restart. (A jocular play on the expression "one-finger salute," referring to the raising of the middle finger, a rude gesture commonly known as "the finger.") This computer is so janky that I have to give it the three-finger salute pretty much every day.
slang A rude gesture of anger, displeasure, or dismissal in which the index and middle fingers are raised, with the back of one's hand facing the other person. Primarily heard in UK. The car behind me had been honking at me to go faster, so I just held up a two-finger salute when he eventually passed by. I threw the customer out of the restaurant when I caught him giving a member of our waitstaff the two-finger salute.
slang A rude gesture of anger, displeasure, or dismissal in which the index and middle fingers are raised, with the back of one's hand facing the other person. Primarily heard in UK. The car behind me had been honking at me to go faster, so I just held up a two-fingered salute when he eventually passed by. I threw the customer out of the restaurant when I caught him giving a member of our waitstaff the two-fingered salute.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
run something up
1. Lit. to raise or hoist something, such as a flag. Harry ran the flag up the flagpole each morning. Will you please run up the flag today?
2. Fig. to cause something to go higher, such as the price of stocks or commodities. A rumor about higher earnings ran the price of the computer stocks up early in the afternoon. They ran up the price too high.
3. Fig. to accumulate indebtedness. I ran up a huge phone bill last month. Walter ran up a bar bill at the hotel that made his boss angry.
4. to stitch something together quickly. She's very clever. I'm sure she can run up a costume for you. The seamstress ran up a party dress in one afternoon.
run up (to someone or something)
to run as far as someone or something and stop; to run to the front of someone or something. I ran up to the mailman and said hello to him. I ran up and said hello.
salute someone with something
1. Lit. to greet someone with a formal hand salute. He failed to salute the officer with the proper salute and was reprimanded. David saluted the captain with the appropriate salute and passed on by.
2. Fig. to greet or honor someone with the firing of guns or an over flight of airplanes. (Military or government.) The government saluted the visiting dignitary with a twenty-one gun salute. They saluted the prime minister with a flight of acrobatic jets.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Make or become greater or larger, as in That offer will run up the price of the stock. [Late 1500s]
2. Accumulate, as in She ran up huge bills at the florist. [First half of 1700s]
3. Sew rapidly, as in I can run up some new curtains for the kitchen. [Mid-1800s]
4. Raise a flag, as in Let's run up the flag in time for the holiday. This usage, originating in the navy about 1900, gave rise to the slangy phrase, Let's run it up the flagpole and see if anybody salutes, meaning, "Let's try this out." The latter originated about 1960 as advertising jargon.
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.
1. To cause some debt to accumulate: Don't run up such a big bill next time you go out to eat! He has been running a large debt up for months.
2. To increase some value: The craze for this company's stock will run up its price. The bidders ran the price up to $100.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
one-finger saluteand OFS
phr. & comp. abb. the finger; the digitus impudicus. And an OFS to you, sir.
a three-finger saluteand TFS
n. & comp. abb. The keyboard keys Control, Alternate, Delete pressed at the same time when a program fails under the Windows operating system. (This is a play on one-finger salute, the digitus impudicus.) I had to give the TFS twice before the program would run.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
run it up the flagpole (and see who salutes), let's
Let’s try this out and see what the reaction is. This cliché, alluding to raising an actual flag up a mast or flagpole, is one of a number of phrases coined in the mid-1900s in the Madison Avenue advertising industry for trying out ads, campaigns, slogans, and the like. Another is that’s how the cookie crumbles. The New Statesman so identified it on March 25, 1966: “The decision was made—in the admen’s jargon that comes naturally to Tory strategists—to run it up the flagpole and see if anyone saluted.” It may be dying out, replaced by the simpler run it by/ past someone. For example, “Bill wanted me to run his new plan by you and see what you think of it,” or “You’d better run it by the teacher before you order any supplies.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer