What does ‘twist your arm’ mean?

Do you know what ‘twist your arm’ means?

To ‘twist someone’s arm’ is an idiom that means to persuade or convince someone to do something. 

In other words, to get somebody to do something they maybe don’t want to do.  It’s often used in speaking, especially when trying get someone to do something in a friendly or non-forceful way.

The verb ‘twist’ means to turn (rotate) something in another direction.  So, we can imagine your arm being twisted as being uncomfortable but also kind of funny or humorous.

                                                                                                            Verb ‘twist’

Here are some examples using the idiom ‘twist your arm.’

I didn’t want to stay for dinner, but Sally twisted my arm.

They had to twist his arm but they eventually got Bill to join the project.

Jack didn’t want to come tonight but I twisted his arm.

 

So how can we respond to people trying to twist our arm?

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If you agree to the arm-twisting, try replying by saying ‘Okay, if you really want me to’ or ‘Okay, I give in.’

If you don’t want to do something when someone is trying to twist your arm, you can say ‘Maybe some other time,’ or, if you want to be more direct, try saying ‘I’m sorry, I’d rather not.’

 

Extra tip!!

 The idiom ‘twist someone round your little finger’ has a similar meaning. It means to have complete control over another person.

For example, Mary has her boyfriend twisted round her little finger, he does everything she wants!

Related links:

What does ‘I’m pulling your leg mean’?

Try the 5min idiom quiz from Breaking Free