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.
RELATED IDIOMS :
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
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!
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.
give the game away
inadvertently reveal your own or another's intentions
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.
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.
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
play the game :
play the game To HOME PAGE
Idioms Index – Previous Page