shift for (oneself)

(redirected from shift for themselves)

shift for (oneself)

To do things for oneself; to not rely on the help or patronage of someone else. It's no wonder that kids these days can't hold down meaningful jobs, when they're pampered from birth and can't shift for themselves by the time they leave school. You're going to have to learn to shift for yourself before you head off to college.
See also: shift

shift for oneself

 and fend for oneself
to get along by oneself; to support oneself. I'm sorry, I can't pay your rent anymore. You'll just have to shift for yourself. When I became twenty years old, I left home and began to fend for myself.
See also: shift

shift for oneself

Also, fend for oneself. Provide for one's own needs, as in Don't worry about Anne; she's very good at shifting for herself, or The children had to fend for themselves after school. The first term, using shift in the now obsolete sense of "manage," was first recorded about 1513; the variant, using fend for in the sense of "look after," was first recorded in 1629.
See also: shift

shift for yourself

manage as best you can without help.
See also: shift

shift for

v.
To provide for, take care of, or defend oneself without assistance. Used reflexively: The teenagers went camping, confident that they could shift for themselves.
See also: shift
References in classic literature ?
Wilcox, having brought up his children with expensive tastes, believed in letting them shift for themselves.
This was the third time his orders had been treated with contempt, and the ship wantonly detained, and it should be the last; so he spread all sail and put to sea, swearing he would leave the laggards to shift for themselves.
The presence of a third person in the house would be extremely awkward just now, and, being already dressed, he opened the window and informed her that they could manage to shift for themselves that morning.
These two men made their number five; but the other three villains were so much more wicked than they, that after they had been two or three days together they turned the two newcomers out of doors to shift for themselves, and would have nothing to do with them; nor could they for a good while be persuaded to give them any food: as for the Spaniards, they were not yet come.
The individuals in question can shift for themselves.
penned but wild, let go in standing corn to shift for themselves, and
Middle class parents in Birmingham got round the ban, either by sending their children to private schools or by employing private tutors to drill their children in the exam syllabus, leaving poor children to shift for themselves.
Drivers who occasionally prefer to shift for themselves will appreciate the GT's manual shift mode with, Pontiac says, much more driver control than some competitors' manu-matics.
When patients die, families "must shift for themselves to bring the bodies back to the other side.
Frank blames the government for both leaving the peasants to shift for themselves and subjecting them to paternalistic tutelage.
They are left to shift for themselves without food assistance.
They left the steers to shift for themselves and drove their empty truck herds home.
Samuelson to Charles Murray to Mickey Kaus--argue that the time has come to abolish the welfare system entirely and let "those people" learn to shift for themselves.