Price gouging is a term that originated in the 1900s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase, or phrasal verbs that have a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. These figures of speech often use descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often colloquialisms or descriptors that are spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase or expression that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom or other parts of speech is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions that native speakers understand such as in a blue moon, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, chin up, eye to eye, barking up the wrong tree, bite the bullet, beat a dead horse, hit the nail on the head, kicked the bucket, blow off steam, jump on the bandwagon, piece of cake, hit the sack, and raining cats and dogs, as they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker. It is possible to memorize a list of idioms, but it may be easier to pay attention to the use of idioms in everyday speech, where peculiar imagery will tell you that the expressions should not be taken literally. We will examine the meaning of the idiomatic phrase price gouging, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.
Price gouging is the practice of raising the price for goods or services above a fair or reasonable price. Price gouging primarily occurs during an emergency. For instance, if a town is devastated by a natural disaster and entrance to the town is difficult or impossible to navigate, then the prices for food and water generally rise according to their scarcity. The amount of money it took to produce the food or water is still the same, it is the demand for the items that causes the price to rise. Price gouging may also refer to raising the price for an essential item to achieve a ridiculously large profit, often because there are no competing items in the market. For instance, many drug companies in the United States are accused of charging too much for life-saving medicines. Price gouging is illegal in most areas of the United States because it interferes with the preservation of civil order during a time of emergency. The word gouging to mean to cheat someone or to swindle someone came into use in the 1830s, but the idiom price gouging didn’t come into use until about one hundred years later.
Governor Gavin Newsom has extended protections against price gouging after the Camp Fire in Butte County for a year in light of ongoing rebuilding and resettling. (The Chico Enterprise-Record)
The firms successfully had fines of nearly £90 million ($116 million) overturned last year, after the punishments were initially issued by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in 2016 over alleged price gouging. (The Pharma Letter)
More savings will be arrive as the law continues to phase in, offering choice on personal injury protection coverage limits, fighting fraud, and reining in price gouging for medical services. (The Daily Telegram)
Responding to growing concerns over shortages and price gouging involving medical cannabis, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration warned Monday that he will crack down on any “bad actors” who may violate laws meant to protect patients. (The Chicago Tribune)