save: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘save’ mean?

An idiom is a phrase that does not have a literal meaning. The idiom "save" means to keep money or resources for future use, or to rescue someone or something from danger or harm.

Idiom Explorer


The idiom "save something for a rainy day" is closely related to the verb form of "save." It means to set aside or preserve something, such as money or resources, for use in the future when they are needed. This idiom emphasizes the importance of planning ahead and being prepared for unexpected or challenging circumstances. By saving something for a rainy day, individuals can ensure that they have a financial or resourceful safety net to fall back on when needed.

Protect and save to preserve and safeguard.

Another related idiom is "salt away," which also conveys the idea of setting something aside or preserving it for future use. However, "salt away" specifically emphasizes the act of keeping something secure and protected, just like salt was historically used as a preservative for food. This idiom suggests the importance of safeguarding one's resources or assets in a responsible and careful manner.

The idiom "by trade" is also connected to the verb form of "save." When someone is described as being a professional or skilled worker "by trade," it means that their occupation or expertise is in a specific field or industry. This phrase highlights the idea that individuals can use their professional knowledge and skills to earn a living and potentially save their hard-earned money for the future.

Lastly, the idiom "save someone's skin" is related to the verb form of "save" in a figurative sense. It means to rescue or protect someone from a dangerous or harmful situation, often with the implication that the person being saved owes a debt of gratitude to the savior. This idiom emphasizes the act of preserving someone's well-being or reputation, and it can be used in both literal and metaphorical contexts.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom "save" can be used in a sentence:

  1. He was able to save enough money to buy a new car.
  2. The firefighter saved the family from the burning building.
  3. She saved the document before the computer crashed.


The idiom "save" can be used in different contexts with various meanings. In the first example, "save" is used to mean "accumulate for future use" or "set aside for a specific purpose." The person mentioned was able to accumulate enough money for the intended purpose of purchasing a new car.

In the second example, "save" is used to mean "rescue" or "help someone or something from danger or harm." The firefighter saved the family by rescuing them from the burning building, ensuring their safety.

In the last example, "save" is used in the context of computer technology, where it means "preserve data or changes by storing it." The person mentioned was able to preserve the document by saving it before the computer crashed, preventing any loss of work.

More "refrain" idioms

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