Twist one’s arm

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Twist one’s arm is an idiom that came into use in the twentieth century. We will examine the meaning of the idiom twist one’s arm, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

To twist one’s arm means to force someone to do something, to persuade someone to do something, or to apply psychological or social pressure to induce someone to do something. The idiom twist one’s arm conjures the image of physically twisting someone’s arm in order to make him give in to your demands. The idiom twist one’s arm came into popular use in the first half of the twentieth century. Related phrases are twist one’s arm, twisted one’s arm, twisting one’s arm.


“As a kid, I really didn’t like the sport and my dad never tried to twist my arm to get involved, even though he was a coach and owned his own club,” said Morales, who also spent considerable time observing her father at Brandeis, where he worked as an assistant fencing coach. (Tewksbury Town Crier)

There’s no need to twist my arm to dig into a plate of barbecue, redolent of smoke, heavy with sauce — meat cooked so long and slow that it literally, actually, truly falls off the bone. (Long Beach Press Telegram)

After I twisted his arm, he finally agreed to meet me in public. (The Huffington Post)