an arm and a leg

Cunning Fox

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Joined
Oct 4, 2021
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Russian
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Russian Federation
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Hi,

I'd like to know whether the idiom "an arm and a leg" is still used nowadays (to me it sounds chiefly British and like something straight from the 18th century). I've always used "cost a fortune" with the same meaning. :-D

My own Example: This English textbook cost me an arm and a leg! I swear to god, it'd better be the greatest English grammar book ever existed on the planet or I'm done with this publisher.

Thank you in advance.

With kind regards,
Cunning Fox
 

probus

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Canada
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It is pretty common in my homeland, Canada. I don't think of it as British.
 

Cunning Fox

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Thank you. Am I right to assume that if it's common in Canada, it's also understandable in the US?
 

probus

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Definitely.
 

Yankee

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Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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British English
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UK
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Japan
It's much more popular now than it was a hundred years ago: Ngrams
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
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English Teacher
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Japan
PS Bookmark this site to look at phrases over time. You can zero in on American English and separate phrases you want to compare with a comma.

https://books.google.com/ngrams
 
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