Big of You (or one)

Meaning of Idiom ‘Big Of You (or one)’

When an action is big of you, it is generous, good, helpful, or kind. 1McCarthy, Michael. Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms. Cambridge University Press, 2002,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Usage

This idiom is used in response to something someone does that is seen as generous, helpful, kind, etc. It can be used sincerely, but is also used sarcastically to mean the opposite, as in “How big of you to eat the last piece of pie.”

Examples of Use

“It was big of Richard to get Sam an interview at his company.”

“Loaning me money to pay my rent was really big of you. I promise I will pay you back next week.”

“Big of Dennis to tell the sarge about the fight last night, don’t you think?” said Private Andrews.

Origin

Used since around 1940. 3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Big, in this idiom, refers to “a big thing to do,” meaning a generous and kind thing. Compare to big deal.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. McCarthy, Michael. Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms. Cambridge University Press, 2002
2, 3. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.