cost an arm and a leg/a pretty penny, to(redirected from to cost an arm and a leg/a pretty penny)
cost a pretty penny
To be very expensive. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cost" and "a" to indicate the person spending the money. A fancy car like that costs a pretty penny, so I definitely wouldn't be able to afford it! Wow, a house in that gated community must have cost Alex a pretty penny.
cost an arm and a leg
slang To be very expensive. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cost" and "a" to indicate the person spending the money. College tuition costs an arm and leg nowadays. I'm sick of paying rent in this town. It's costing me an arm and a leg!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
cost a pretty pennyand cost an arm and a leg; cost the earth
Fig. to be expensive; to cost a lot of money. Mary's dress is real silk. It must have cost a pretty penny. Taking care of a fancy car like that can cost a pretty penny, let me tell you. It cost an arm and a leg, so I didn't buy it. A house that size with an ocean view must cost the earth!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
cost an arm and a leg
If something costs an arm and a leg, it costs a lot of money. It cost us an arm and a leg to get here. But it has been worth every penny and more. Note: Verbs such as pay, charge and spend are sometimes used instead of cost. Many restaurants were charging an arm and a leg for poor quality food.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
cost an arm and a legbe extremely expensive. informal
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
n. a sizable amount of money. This watch cost me a pretty penny, and I intend to take care of it.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
A considerable sum of money: I paid a pretty penny for that ring.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
cost an arm and a leg/a pretty penny, to
Excessively expensive, exorbitant. The first phrase is American in origin and dates from the mid-twentieth century. The source is obvious: giving up an arm and a leg to buy something is clearly too costly. The use of “pretty” to mean considerable in amount was originally British and is now archaic except in a few well-worn phrases like this one, a cliché since the late nineteenth century. It was common throughout the eighteenth century, and crossed the Atlantic as well (“The captain might still make a pretty penny,” Bret Harte, Maruja, 1885). A similar term was a fine penny, now obsolete.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer