take liberties with

take liberties with (someone or something)

1. To act disrespectfully or inappropriately. You're too friendly with your subordinates—that's why they take liberties with you. If he tries to take liberties with you, leave immediately.
2. To alter something (especially by making it inaccurate or untrue) in order to benefit from it or accommodate one's own needs or interests. I didn't slander you—the paper took liberties with what I said.
See also: liberty, take

take liberties with someone or something

 and make free with someone or something
to freely use or abuse someone or something. You are overly familiar with me, Mr. Jones. One might think you were taking liberties with me. I don't like it when you make free with my lawn mower. You should at least ask when you want to borrow it.
See also: liberty, take
References in classic literature ?
A young whippersnapper had been able to take liberties with it.