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to cost an arm and a leg


Click below to listen to the phrase.

Choose the correct definition : a, b or c.

a) to be very expensive

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

The expression to cost someone ’an arm and a leg’, is used to say that something is very expensive.

French translation

coûter un bras, coûter la peau des fesses

How NOT to translate : *ça coûte un bras et une jambe

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Examples in context

‘Beatles White Albums star in Liverpool exhibition’

There are 30 songs, most of which were recorded in India. For me there’s everything. There’s avant-garde, country and western, folk, rock and pop. Any album numbered 100 or under is worth an arm and a leg. Numbers one, two, three and four actually went to John, George, Paul and Ringo. So it’s a phenomenal album. I remember there was a real buzz in New York for the 50th anniversary, and a lot of people were talking about the White Album exhibition. It’s great that it’s here in Liverpool.

BBC News, 14th August 2014

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‘Fancy a go at snowboarding slopestyle ? It will cost you an arm and a leg

If you watched Britain’s Jenny Jones make history on Sunday, becoming the first British athlete to take a medal on snow – winning bronze in the women’s snowboard slopestyle – you might have been inspired by her perfectly landed backside 360 and frontside 720 to take up the sport yourself. However, what many people probably don’t realise is that this is a sport which requires a ski-jacket with very deep pockets. If you can’t afford to travel expensively abroad to indulge in your new passion, the only option is to hit the numerous ski-slopes and snow centres in the UK.

The Guardian, 10th February 2014

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Everyday usage

I can’t believe you bought that dress. It costs an arm and a leg.

Nowadays studying a degree costs you an an arm and a leg.

b) to be cheap

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

c) to ruin one’s reputation

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.


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