What does ‘break one's neck’ mean?
The idiom "break one's neck" means to make an extreme effort or go to great lengths to accomplish something.
Decoding the Phrase
The idiom "break one's neck" is commonly used in both spoken and written English. It expresses a sense of urgency or intense effort in trying to achieve something. For example, someone might say "I've been working so hard, I feel like I'm breaking my neck to meet the deadline."
This idiom is informal and is used in casual conversations rather than formal or professional settings. Its origins can be traced back to the early 20th century, although the exact origin is unclear. It is likely that the phrase was derived from a literal interpretation of breaking one's neck, which would result in severe injury or death.
In a figurative sense, the idiom conveys the idea that someone is putting forth a significant amount of effort or working very hard to achieve a goal. It is often used when there is a sense of urgency or pressing need to accomplish something. For example, someone might say "I'll break my neck to get this project finished on time."
The idiom "break one's back" expresses the idea of exerting oneself to the maximum extent possible. It is similar to "break one's neck" in that it conveys a sense of intense effort and urgency. However, "break one's back" suggests even greater exertion and hardship, as if one is straining or pushing oneself to the limit. For example, someone might say "I've been breaking my back to support my family."
On the other hand, the idiom "break someone's back" has a different meaning. It refers to causing someone to experience great difficulty or be overwhelmed by a task or responsibility. It implies that the person's ability to carry the burden has been pushed to its limit or broken. For example, someone might say "The additional workload really broke his back."
The idiom "break one's neck" is an English expression used to convey a sense of urgency or intense effort. It is informal and commonly used in casual conversations. Its origins can be traced back to the early 20th century, although the exact origin is uncertain. The phrase likely stems from a literal interpretation of breaking one's neck. This idiom is used in both literal and figurative senses to convey a sense of urgency and intensity in trying to accomplish something. It is related to the idioms "break one's back" and "break someone's back," which involve even greater exertion and causing someone to experience overwhelming difficulty, respectively.
Examples of how the idiom "break one's neck" can be used in a sentence:
- She is always running late and will break her neck trying to catch the bus.
- He worked tirelessly to meet the deadline, practically breaking his neck to get the project done on time.
- The actor performed stunts that could have broken his neck during the intense action scenes.
The idiom "break one's neck" is used to emphasize the extreme effort or determination someone puts into doing something. It suggests going to great lengths, risking injury, or exhausting oneself to achieve a goal or complete a task.