give the game away

give the game away

inadvertently reveal your own or another's intentions


ahead of the game

Ahead of your competitors or peers in the same sphere of activity

1996 Daily Telegraph : The smart money headed for Chinatown where you can pick up all those Eastern looks the designers are promoting for next spring ahead of the game.

beat someone at their own game

use someone's own methods to outdo them in their chosen activity.

as game as Ned Kelly

very brave – Australian

Ned Kelly (1855-80) was a famous Australian outlaw, the leader of a band of horse and cattle thieves and bank raiders operating in Victoria. He was eventually hanged at Melbourne.

the game is up

the plan, deception or crime is revealed or foiled

game on

a signal for play to begin in a game or match

said when you feel that a situation is about to develop in your favour – informal

1999 - FHM - She soon invited me back to her place for the other. Game on!

game over

said when a situation is regarded as hopeless or irreversible

This expression probably comes from the use of the phrase at the conclusion of a computer game.

2001 - Wall Street Journal - There's a finite amount of money available and, if it runs out, game over.

the name of the game

the main purpose or most important aspect of a situation - informal

off your game = on your game

playing badly (or well)

on the game

involved in prostitution – British informal

The phrase itself apparently dates from the late 19th century. But game in the sense of sexual activity is much older. Shakespeare talks of daughters of the game in Troilus and Cressida (1606) and from the early 17th century gamester was a term used to describe a lewd person.

the only game in town

the best or most important of its kind

the only thing worth concerning yourself with – informal

1998 - Spectator - But there is a sense of resentment that the big set-piece political interviews are not now the only game in town.

play games

deal with someone or something in a way that lacks due seriousness or respect or deviates from the truth

2000 - Mike Gayle - Turning Thirty - I couldn't stand him at first. I'd have a conversation with him and would come away feeling like he was playing games with me.

play his game

advance another's plans whether intentionally or not.

play the game

behave in a fair or honourable way

abide by the rules or conventions

1993 - Andy McNab - Bravo Two Zero – Shorncliffe was a nightmare. But I learned to play the game. I had to….there was nothing else for me.

two can play at that game

used to assert that one person's bad behaviour can be copied to that person's disadvantage

what is your game? = what is the game?

what's going on?

what are you up to? - informal

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