whistle for (someone or something)(redirected from whistles for something)
whistle for (someone or something)
1. To summon or signal for someone or something by whistling with one's mouth. It drove me crazy the way he whistled for the waiter during our meal—it was just so rude and arrogant. Needless to say, I don't think we'll be going on a second date.
2. To expect something with no chance of ever getting it. Usually said as a sarcastic demand or instruction. If you want us to pay for your legal bills, well, you can just whistle for it.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
whistle for someone or something
to summon someone or something by whistling. I stood on the corner and whistled for a cab, but they all ignored me. I whistled for the dog, but it did not appear.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Ask for or expect without any prospect of success, as in If you want a cash refund, you can just whistle for it. [Mid-1700s]
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.
whistle for somethingOLD-FASHIONED
If you tell someone that they can whistle for something, you are telling them rudely that you will not give it to them. And if he wants a pay-rise, as far as I'm concerned, he can whistle for it! Note: There was an old superstition among sailors that they could make the wind blow by whistling.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
To summon someone or something by whistling: I whistled for my dog.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.