Binomials

There are many phrases in English that use two words connected with ‘and’. For example wine and dine, home and hosed. These expressions are known as binomials. In these phrases the word order is usually fixed; we always say ‘wine and dine’, we never say ‘dine and wine’.

Home and hosed – safe and successful.
Ex: I’ve passed the test so I’m home and hosed for the time being.
Time and again – repeatedly
Ex: He was asking himself the same question time and again.
Wine and dine – eat and drink well.
Ex: We used to wine and dine in expensive restaurants every night during our holiday in Greece.
Alive and well – healthy and active
Ex: I came down with flu last week but I’m alive and well now.
Divide and rule – the policy intended to keep someone in the position of disagreement for easier manipulation.
Ex: The government’s policy of divide and rule caused great disorder in the country.
Up and down – move repeatedly forwards and backwards along the given path.
Ex: We were walking up and down the beach every evening.
There and then – happens immediately
Ex: Ashley felt that she should tell him the truth there and then.
More and more – increasingly
Ex: Stephen became more and more calm and stable.
Give and take – people should cooperate and compromise in order to be successful.
Ex: Every relationship requires lots of give and take.
Home and dry – to have finished something successfully.
Ex: Bob and Lucy have signed the contract so they’re home and dry now.
Dribs and drabs – small, negligible amounts
Ex: I haven’t eaten anything properly today. Just dribs and drabs here and there.

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