[General] look up/top the night off/pig out/scarf down/do in/do up/do out/do for/do over/

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Sep 13, 2007
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Dear teachers,

Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up.

look up = search for in a book or other source, consult

Then to top the night off I decided to pig out on a huge bowl of ice cream at Cold Stone after dinner.

top off = finish, especially in a spectacular way
pig out = overeat or eat immodestly

Add had the self control to not eat any of it whereas I was somehow able to scarf down the entire bowl in about 7 minutes.

scarf down = to eat something, perhaps in a hurry; to swallow something

He was done in by his remorseless enemies.

do in = dead beat

This old mansion needs doing up, for it is a historical monument of great value.

do up = renovate

Bad habits are not easily done away with.

do away with = make an end of, eliminate

It’ll serve him right that he has been hard done by.
It serves him right
that he has been hard done by.

do by = treat; deal with

We’ll have to do without your help if you are to leave in two days.

do without = to manage despite the absence of

Let’s try and do out our flat by Saturday.

do out = turn out

I’m afraid that now that he is quite alone I’ll have to do for him.

do for = take care ; look after

I’m quite done up after that tedious meeting.

do up = exhausted; ruined

I think I could do with a plateful of nice, hot soup.

do with = put up or manage with

Don’t do up your face every five minutes.

do up one’s face = make up one’s face

Will you do up that parcel for me?

do up = wrap

I’m most eager to have my kitchen done over with blue paint.

do over = color

This fish looks half-done.

half-done = underdone; half-baked

Thank you for your efforts.


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Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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Nov 13, 2002
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It’ll serve him right that he has been hard done by.- I'd use 'It serves him right'
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