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on a first-name basis

Quite familiar and friendly, as in Practically all the guests were on a first-name basis. This idiom alludes to the fact that using a person's given name betokens familiarity. [Second half of 1900s]

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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.