to save (one's) life

(redirected from to save his life)

to save (one's) life

Regardless of one's effort, passion, or desire. Used after a negative verb construction to emphasize one's inability to do it. Ugh, this art assignment is so annoying—I can't draw an apple to save my life. Rachel is so selfish! It's like she couldn't consider another person's feelings to save her life.
See also: life, save, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

to save one's life

Even if one's life depended on it, as in I couldn't eat another bite to save my life, or Betty wouldn't climb a mountain to save her life. This hyperbolic expression nearly always follows a negative statement that one wouldn't or couldn't do something. Anthony Trollope used a slightly different wording in The Kellys and the O'Kellys (1848): "I shan't remain long, if it was to save my life and theirs; I can't get up small talk for the rector and his curate."
See also: life, save, to
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.

to save your life

used in various expressions, especially can't (or couldn't ) do something to save your life , to indicate that the person in question is very incompetent at doing something.
The first recorded use of this expression is by Anthony Trollope in The Kellys and O'Kellys ( 1848 ): ‘If it was to save my life and theirs, I can't get up small talk for the rector and his curate’.
See also: life, save, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

to save (one's) life

No matter how hard one tries: He can't ski to save his life.
See also: life, save, to
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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In a statement he said that today they resorted to violence and forced judge of Accountability Court to save his life. They proved as true the affirmation of Supreme Court that they are godfather and there is no constitution or law in the country.
A GRATEFUL holidaymaker who suffered a heart attack on his return to the UK has been reunited with a team of Birmingham Airport police officers who helped to save his life.
Climber Aron Ralston has described how he did the unthinkable - cutting off his own arm to save his life.
After three days he decided to sacrifice his arm to save his life.
"It is important for the kid to see what I used to save his life." George began jerking the shears in the air.
Sam badly needed a transfusion, or replacement of fresh blood, to save his life. Transfusions are common for humans, but most vets don't stock dog blood.