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jump through hoops

Slang definitions & phrases for jump through hoops

jump through hoops

verb phrase

  1. To serve, obey, or accommodate someone without question, esp in a harried, frantic way: You had to jump through hoops to please that guy
  2. To exert oneself mightily; strain: I had to jump through hoops to get you that job

[1917+; fr the image of a trained animal jumping through hoops in a show, circus, etc]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Examples from the Web for jump through hoops
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Harvey D. and Ella and even grandfather—they all jump through hoops for him, the cowards!

    The Wrong Twin Harry Leon Wilson
  • The servants didn't look up to her pa and me very much, but they'd jump through hoops all the time for her.

    The Man Next Door

    Emerson Hough
  • I don't care so much for the circus, though I should like to see the man stand up on a horse and jump through hoops.

  • For this reason I have not only taught him to dance, but also to jump through hoops and through frames covered with paper.

    Pinocchio C. Collodi
  • Using their disclosure as a prod I could have made him jump through hoops.

    The Misplaced Battleship Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)
  • I'm going to teach it to lie down and roll over and jump through hoops.

    Two Thousand Miles Below Charles Willard Diffin
Idioms and Phrases with jump through hoops

jump through hoops

Do just about anything to please someone. For example, The boss expects the entire staff to jump through hoops for him, or This violinist will jump through hoops for the conductor. This metaphoric expression alludes to trained circus animals jumping through hoops. [ Early 1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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