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if push comes to shove

This page is about the idiom if push comes to shove


You can say "if push comes to shove" before saying what you'll do if things don't go as well as you'd like, and you're forced to do something that you'd rather not do.

For example

  • I've made up my mind and I'm going to have a career in music. I'd love to be in a successful band, but if push comes to shove I can earn money by teaching guitar.

  • Sandy says she really wants to stay in her apartment, but if push comes to shove she'll just have to move out and find somewhere cheaper.

Quick Quiz

My Nigerian friend Fela is having trouble finding work here in London, but he says if push comes to shove he can always

a. go back to Nigeria

b. go to jail

c. win the lottery
a) go back to Nigeria b) go to jail c) win the lottery

Idiom of the Day

Contributor: Matt Errey