cost an arm and a leg

cost an arm and a leg


  • very expensive
  • costing a lot of money
  • to be very expensive
  • a very large and exorbitant sum of money
  • very costly
  • excessively pricey

Example Sentences

  1. I’d really like to have a new farm house, but it may cost me an arm and a leg.
  2. This dress is really nice, but it cost me an arm and a leg.
  3. You must visit that restaurant; the food is really good, and it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.
  4. “How much would you pay for luxurious farmhouse by the beach? An arm and a leg?”
  5. I would have loved to go with my friends on a vacation, but it would have cost me an arm and a leg.
  6. The show is excellent, but the tickets cost an arm and a leg.
  7. He really wants to go to that event. He’s willing to pay an arm and a leg for it.
  8. I went to the auction but didn’t pick up anything. Everything cost an arm and a leg.
  9. This resort lets you experience luxury without having to pay an arm and a leg.

This is an American phrase, coined sometime after World War II. Probable reference is to soldiers who had lost their limbs in the war, thus having to pay a very high price for the war.

C 5 Comments


AuthorGiorge writes on 7th November 2017

It originates in pharaonic Egypt – the man who lost an arm & a leg as punishment (for sleeping with the pharo concubines) is depicted (a man with one hand and one leg and very erected ‘manhood’) among the reliefs of the great temple of Kernak – if you visit that temple check it out.

AuthorMystery girl writes on 1st November 2017

Thank you so much for this idiom

AuthorJenna Louw writes on 14th August 2017

This is really useful for school.

AuthorTim writes on 22nd May 2017

Your origin is rubbish it has been used in the UK for centuries and is in reference to portrait painting.

AuthorPriya writes on 2nd May 2016

This is very usefull to learn more.

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