in someone's shoes

Idioms & Phrases

in someone's shoes

Also, in someone else's shoes; in someone's place or stead. Acting for another person or experiencing something as another person might; in another's position or situation. For example, If you were in my shoes, would you ask the new secretary for a date? or In your shoes I wouldn't accept the offer, or Can you go to the theater in my place? or He was speaking in her stead. The idioms alluding to shoes, with their image of stepping into someone's shoes, date from about 1700 and are generally used in a conditional clause beginning with if. Stead, dating from the 1300s, and place, from the 1500s, are used more loosely. Also see fill someone's shoes; put someone in his or her place; take someone's place.

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