to save one's life

couldn't (do something) to save (one's) life

slang Cannot do something well or at all. Ugh, this art assignment is so annoying—I couldn't draw an apple to save my life. Rachel is so selfish! She couldn't consider another person's feelings to save her life.
See also: life, save

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
References in periodicals archive ?
At times, all it takes to save one's life is for one person to see what is precious in you.
So, every healthy human being aging between "18-60" should donate one's blood just to save one's life, they stressed.