English Idioms Daily Blog

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Bail Someone/Something Out

At the moment, you will often find idioms in the media dealing with our troubled world economy. What better reason to take a look at idioms dealing with money?
If we could survey newspapers and magazines from the last three years looking for the most common financial idiom, we would probably find the expression
to bail someone/something out at the very top of our list. To bail someone/something out typically means one of the following three things:

1. to remove water that has come into a boat
2. to leave a large sum of money with a court so that someone awaiting trail can be let out of prison

3. to do something to help someone out of trouble, especially financial trouble

In general terms, the expression to bail someone/something out means to rescue someone/something.
The verb to bail someone/something out also has a noun form, i.e. a bailout or bail-out. Let’s turn to the media to look at few recent financial headlines demonstrating both the verb and the noun forms:

Greece Bailout Faces New Obstacles (New York Times,Stephen Castle, 18 August 2011)
Authorities Could Bail Out Banks Again, S & P says (Financial Times, Tom Braithwaite, 13 July 2011)

It is often said that
a friend in need is a friend indeed, which means that a friend who helps out when we are in trouble is a true friend - unlike others who disappear when trouble arises; but how far does friendship go for you? Looking at the current crisis in the European Union, are you in favour of bailing out troubled countries that are in need of financial support? What are the pros and cons of such bailouts?

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