Jul 26, 2019

Cost an Arm and a Leg – Idioms Meaning and Examples

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very expensive

a small fortune

very costly

a large amount of money


Flying to Australia will cost us an arm and a leg. Let us go somewhere nearby.

Are you sure you want to buy this bag, it will cost you an arm and a leg?

Let us wait for a week to go to the movie. Now the tickets will cost us an arm and a leg.


It is said that this idiom originated after World War II when many soldiers lost their arms and legs. It was a big price to pay for the country hence the phrase.

Synonymous Idioms:

be worth a fortune

What have you done with your brand new car? To fix it will be worth a fortune.

cost a bomb

A sports bike will cost a bomb. I cannot afford it.

cost a pretty penny

A house in such a locality will cost a pretty penny. Think twice if you can want to purchase it. 

cost the earth

Everyone can purchase a DSLR today. It’s not like it will cost the earth.

worth a king’s ransom

Are you sure you want a diamond necklace as a wedding gift? I will have to pay a king’s ransom for it.

pay through the nose

I heard you had to pay through the nose to get this house renovated. 

a bit steep

Don’t you think its a bit steep that this bag cost you 1020 bucks?

daylight robbery

I don’t think you should repair this laptop. I will find someone else because what you are charging is a daylight robbery.

break the bank

I got a few discount coupons as a gift. Now I can shop without breaking the bank.

pay top dollar

Why do you have to pay the top dollar to watch first-day first show for the movie? Wait for a few days, and the prices will go down.

Opposite Idioms:

cheap at twice the price

I gave 1 dollar for this book – it will be cheap at twice the price.

cheap and cheerful

If you are looking for an affordable place to dine, go here as this is cheap and cheerful.

cheap at half the price

I got this jewelry set for $20 – cheap at half the price!

dirt cheap

You can buy clothes from this new place it is dirt cheap.

cheap as chips

Let’s go to the electronic market we can buy mobiles at a low price, as cheap as chips.

Article Categories:
Idioms and Phrases

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