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give as good as one gets

Return in kind, retaliate, as in In an argument Laura can give as good she gets, or Don't worry about the bullies in Bobby's class—he can give as good as he gets. The general idea of this expression dates from the late 1600s, but the precise wording was first recorded only in 1952.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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