To catch someone on the hop
A student in Chennai writes : Is to catch someone on the hop an idiomatic expression?
Yes. It is an idiomatic expression. To catch someone on the hop means to catch someone when they are unprepared or not expecting it.
Look at these examples :
• The chairman wanted me to complete the report by 5 pm. But I didn't finish it in time. He phoned me this afternoon and caught me on the hop.
• By arriving before noon for the meeting he caught us on the hop.
• In the chess game, Ramesh caught his opponent on the hop by certain moves.
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