give as good as one gets

Idioms & Phrases

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 classhe 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® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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