give a wide berth
Avoid, as in After Jane told on them, they gave her a wide berth. This expression alludes to giving a vessel enough room to swing at anchor so as to avoid a collision. [Mid-1800s]
Do You Give Presents Or Gifts? Here’s The DifferenceWhere do the words gift and present come from? Why does English use both? We're pretty sure it's not just so that children can ask for toys in multiple ways ...
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.