have a word with

Idioms & Phrases

have a word with

Speak with, discuss with, as in Jerry asked to have a word with you, or I must have a word with Bill about the repairs. This expression, from the late 1400s, was at one time used interchangeably with have words with, but it no longer is.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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