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Crime Idioms

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Here we look at six idioms which are linked to the topic of crime. These idioms are not necessarily about crime; they just use the language of crime to describe other situations. Find out what they mean, how you can use them and then do the quiz:

A steal

A steal is anything that is much cheaper to buy than you would expect. The item is a real bargain and great value for money. It is so cheap, that is almost like we have stolen it!

'I only paid 20 dollars for this dress and it's a designer brand. It was a real steal!'

Highway robbery

Highway robbery (also known as daylight robbery) means that you feel something is much more expensive than it should be. You feel you are paying way too much.

'The soft drinks in the cinema are really expensive. I paid 10 dollars for a cola. It's highway robbery!'

Thick as thieves

When people are thick as thieves they have a very close relationship. They're probably best friends who are always together and never keep secrets from each other.

'Lee and Mike have been as thick as thieves since they met in junior school. They do everything together.'

On the case

When someone is on the case they are doing what needs to be done in a particular situation. They are dealing with the task or problem.

'Don't worry about it. I'll have the report done by Friday. I'm on the case.'

Get away with murder

When someone gets away with murder they are not punished for bad behavior. They did something bad or wrong and did not get into trouble for it.

'She never does her homework and she's always late for class. Our teacher lets her get away with murder! He never punishes her.'

Partner in crime

A partner in crime is a person who helps you to make a secret plan to do something wrong or dishonest. They help you to do something bad or naughty.

'Tom made sure nobody was looking as I set off the fire-alarm in our school. He was my partner in crime.'

Link: Crime Vocabulary

  • How much? There's no way I'm going to pay so much. That's ___.

  • Paul helped me to break open the door. He was my ___.

  • He's a badly behaved boy, but his parents never do anything. They let him ___.

  • James said that he would get the tickets. He said he was ___.

  • Because I'm so generous, I'll let you have it for half price. That's ___ for you.

  • You never see Emma without Jenny. Those two are as ___.