– examples of gallows humour:
‘My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death; one or the other of us has got to go.”
(Oscar Wilde, on his deathbed)
‘You see, a laugh and a smile and all of a sudden the job doesn’t seem quite so bad after all, does it Sir?”
(from ‘Blackadder’, said by the firing squad as they are about to kill Blackadder)
The team didn’t panic; they just stuck to their game plan and waited for the other team to tire.
The reason the company failed was, simply, they had an unrealistic game plan going into the market.
to start gaining speed, or momentum
Their Presidential bid began to gather pace after he made a speech on live TV; within 5 months he was the favourite to win.
At first the project didn’t seem to be going anywhere, but they kept working and soon it began to gather speed.
get a grip (on something)
The boss told the team they had to get a grip on the situation before things got out of control.
“Get a grip, man!” (told to someone going hysterical)
get away with murder
When he was a child he used to get away with murder – the punishments his mother handed out were absolutely useless.
United are getting away with murder out there: they are fouling everyone, but the referee isn’t doing anything.
get your hands dirty
(2) to do something that may dirty your character
Dave, despite being the boss, isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and help the staff out, a fact that they really appreciate.
Anne decided there was no other choice: she had to forget about her ideals and get her hands dirty. That was the only way she would get out of there.
get (your) teeth into (something)
As soon as he gave out the homework, the professor could see which students would pass: there were some who tried to ignore it, and others who chose to get the teeth into it straight away.
I can’t wait to get my teeth into this new project.
give and take
The debate was quite interesting, with a good amount of give and take.
When negotiating a deal, there has to be some give and take; consider what you want, and what you are prepared to lose in order to get it.
give (somebody) a leg up
Anne knows that she could do a better job than most of the leaders, if only someone would give her a leg up to help her get noticed.
Now that he is a millionaire, it would be easy to forget how it all began; but Dave is still friends with Mr Hughes, the man who gave him a leg up into a management position 20 years ago.
For years women in this company were met with a glass ceiling, through which they could not pass. Finally, however, in 2001, Anne became the first member of the board, and things began to change.
It is definitely true that a glass ceiling is in place in this country for foreigners: they are allowed to do the work, and have titles that don’t mean much, but it is always a local who holds the money and makes the final decision.