The word ‘pull’ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to use force on a person or object to make it move towards oneself.
- Stop pulling my hair.
Pull is a regular verb. The past tense and past participle is pulled.
idioms list with ‘pull’
- pull a fast one – deceive/trick someone
e.g. The shopkeeper pulled a fast one. I paid for an expensive perfume, but he gave me a cheap one.
- pull a rabbit out of the hat – suddenly do something clever
e.g. England will have to pull a rabbit out of the hat if they want to win the FIFA World Cup this year.
- pull a sickie – pretend to be ill to get out of doing something (especially work)
e.g. Johnny isn’t sick. I saw him playing rugby earlier, he’s pulling a sickie.
- pull one’s finger out – stop wasting time and start working/concentrating
e.g. Logan has pulled his finger out and is working to support his child.
- pull one’s socks up – start making an effort to improve
e.g. If Caitlyn doesn’t pull her socks up, social services will take away her children.
- pull one’s weight – do one’s fair share of the work
e.g. If Damien doesn’t start pulling his weight, I’ll evict him.
- pull out all the stops put in a great amount of effort
e.g. Angela will have to pull out all the stops if she wants to win the election.
- pull punches – be less severe/violent
e.g. Give me your honest opinion, don’t pull punches.
- pull someone’s leg – playfully joke/tease someone
e.g. You’re pregnant? Please tell me you’re pulling my leg.
- pull the plug – stop something happening/continuing
e.g. My landlord pulled the plug on my poker nights. The neighbours started complaining.
Let’s see these idioms with pictures and meaning using real-life scenarios.
Hey, did you know the verb ‘pull’ has many phrasal verbs. Since you like idioms and phrases, you obviously want to improve your fluency and speak like a native.
Am I right?
I thought you might like to learn the phrasal verbs with ‘pull’ too. They are very common in informal English and great to know/be able to understand if you happen to be speaking to a native. We use them all the time, like literally ALL the time.