Six English ‘number’ idioms and expressions

numbersThere are lots of English idioms and expressions using individual numbers but what about idioms and expressions actually using the word ‘number’?

Here are my top six English ‘number’ idioms and expressions:

crunch the numbers
Meaning: to make a calculation
Example: I’m crunching the numbers to get the data ready for our sales report

look after number one
Meaning: to take care of yourself above others
Example: If this plane crashes, I’m going to look after number one and make sure I get straight out of here.

your days are numbered
Meaning: your time in a certain situation is over
Example: He’s been the boss for 40 years but his days are numbered now.

safety in numbers
Meaning: a situation is safer when there are more people there
Example: Always travel with a group of people if you have to go out at night. Remember, safety in numbers.

your opposite number
Meaning: a person in the same position as you but in another company or team
Example: Dave did well but his opposite number was a lot better and ended up winning the contract for his company.

to do something by the numbers
Meaning: to do something according to strict rules or regulations
Example: The boss is observing us this week so let’s do this project by the numbers.

Today’s image is by Thomas Rittsche.