Give the Shirt Off One’s Back

Meaning of Idiom ‘Give the Shirt Off One’s Back’

To give (someone) the shirt off one’s (your, his, her) back is to give anything or everything you have; to be extremely generous and helpful; to be willing to sacrifice to help others. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Pare, May. Body Idioms and More: For Learners of English. United States?: Mayuree Pare, 2005.


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Examples Of Use

“Timothy is the nicest guy I’ve ever met. He’d give you the shirt off his back.”

“Sam never stops trying to help others. He’d give you the shirt off his own back and, if that wasn’t enough, his pants too!”

Origin

This hyperbolic way of describing a generous person has been in use since at least the 1770’s. 3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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Sources   [ + ]

1, 3. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
2. Pare, May. Body Idioms and More: For Learners of English. United States?: Mayuree Pare, 2005.