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save (one's) own skin
To rescue or protect oneself from danger, trouble, or difficulty, especially without concern for the welfare of others. In the face of the federal investigation, the CEO was more worried with saving his own skin than ensuring his employees' jobs remained secure. Just be sure not to leave yourself exposed in this scandal. You can be sure that the senator is looking to save her own skin, so you should be doing the same.
save (one's) skin
To rescue one from failure, danger, or disaster; to prevent something bad from happening to someone. Thanks for bringing me some extra cash—you really saved my skin, there! The company is in dire need of new investors to save their skin.
save someone's skinand save someone's neck; save one's bacon
Fig. to save someone from injury, embarrassment, or punishment. I saved my skin by getting the job done on time. Thanks for saving my neck! I would have fallen down the stairs if you hadn't held my arm.
save somebody’s/your (own) ˈneck/ˈskin/ˈhide(informal) save somebody or yourself from a dangerous or unpleasant situation: Don’t rely on him for help, he’s only interested in saving his own skin. OPPOSITE: risk your neck
save one's skin, to
To save one’s life. The skin in question is usually one’s own, and it is hard to imagine life going on without it. The term has been around since Roman times. In English it was in print by 1642: “Equivocating with our conscience . . . for the saving of our owne skin” (Daniel Rogers, Naaman the Syrian).
See also: save