Idioms and Expressions Starting With "Put"

closeup of bottle with cork in it

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The following idioms and expressions use the verb "put." Each idiom or expression has a definition and two example sentences to help enhance the understanding of these common idiomatic expressions with 'put'. Once you have studied these expressions, test your knowledge with quiz testing idioms and expressions with put.

This recording allows you to listen to each of these expressions with put with the provided examples.

To learn more idiomatic language use the idiom and expressions resource page.

Put a Cork in It!

Definition: Be quiet


  • Could you please put a cork in it?!
  • Tom, put a cork in it! I can't hear what Mary is saying.

Put Down

Definition: criticize someone


  • Jack put him down and he hasn't been the same since.
  • Don't put me down!

Put (Stick) One's Nose

Definition: interfere in someone's business


  • I wish he wouldn't put his nose in where it's not wanted.
  • Mary is putting her nose in their affairs.

Put on the Ritz/Dog

Definition: make everything special for someone else


  • They really put on the Ritz for us last weekend.
  • Let's put on the dog for the Wilson's.

Put Some Distance Between Someone and Someone/Something

Definition: move far away from


  • He put some distance between himself and his ex-wife.
  • Let's put some distance between us and the school.

Put Someone Away

Definition: put in prison


  • They put him away for twenty years.
  • Jason was put away for life in prison.

Put Someone On

Definition: fool, tease someone


  • He put Jerry on about his new job.
  • I don't believe anything you say. You're putting me on!

Put Someone Up

Definition: provide accommodation


  • We put them up last week as they couldn't find a hotel.
  • Could you put me up for the night?

Put Something Away

Definition: eat or drink something


  • He put the whole pizza away in fifteen minutes!
  • We put away six beers.

Put Something Through Something

Definition: do something that creates difficulty for another person


  • She put him through hell and then left him.
  • Don't put me through that. It's just too difficult for one person.

Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It!

Definition: Phrase meaning: You see! Take that!


  • You're wrong! Now put that in your pipe and smoke it!
  • I don't agree with you. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Put the Bite on Someone

Definition: try to get money from someone


  • I put the bite on Tim but he didn't have any money.
  • She put the bite on me for $50.

Put the Finger on Someone

Definition: identify someone


  • The victim put the finger on the criminal.
  • She put the finger on her boss for the crime.

Put the Heat/Screws on Someone

Definition: pressure someone to do something


  • He's putting the heat on me to finish the report.
  • Janet's really putting the screws on her husband to get a new car.

Put the Moves on Someone

Definition: try to seduce someone


  • He was putting the moves on Mary last night.
  • Hey! Are you trying to put the moves on me?!

Phrasal Verbs Versus Idiomatic Phrases

A number of these expressions are used as set idiomatic phrases. In other words, these are used as a stand-alone phrase such as "Put a cork in it!". Phrasal verbs, on the other hand, are usually two words beginning with a verb and ending with a preposition. An example would be "put away."

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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "Idioms and Expressions Starting With "Put"." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, Beare, Kenneth. (2020, August 28). Idioms and Expressions Starting With "Put". Retrieved from Beare, Kenneth. "Idioms and Expressions Starting With "Put"." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 30, 2023).

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