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leg up, a

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1

The act of assisting someone, giving someone a boost. For example, Studying with Jane, who knows French history well, will give you a leg up for the final exam. This usage alludes to helping a person get on a horse by getting a foot in the stirrup. [First half of 1800s]

2

A position of advantage, as in Because of the advertising campaign, we had a leg up on the competition.

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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