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in for the high jump

certain to be punished


to be (in) for the high jump = erledigt sein, sich auf etwas gefasst machen können [auf eine Bestrafung oder scharfe Rüge], sein blaues Wunder erleben



“UK Independence Party leader Henry Bolton has dumped his girlfriend Jo Marney following the revelation that the glamour model made racist remarks about Meghan Markle. But is the 54-year-old politician also IN FOR THE HIGH JUMP? Several members are calling for Bolton to stand down and UKIP chiefs are due to meet on Sunday to decide Bolton’s fate, ‘if he can survive the week’, says Politico’s Jack Blanchard.”

The Week Magazine (15th January 2018)

“Cameron, Osborne & Co had better be prepared to demonstrate their working out for this £13b figure otherwise they're IN FOR THE HIGH JUMP.”

Hélène Mulholland — The Guardian (5th July 2012)

Did you

be in for the high jump

- to be certain to be punished

The Britannica Dictionary


The idiom "to be in for the high jump" has its origins in British police slang from the late 19th century, referring to capital punishment or hanging. with the "high jump" metaphorically referring to the hangman's noose or gallows used for executions. It meant you were in very big trouble and faced the ultimate punishment if convicted of a capital crime.

The Spanish phrase tener los días contados, which translates to "to have one's days numbered" - also alludes to facing severe consequences or punishment.

Over time, the idiom's meaning generalized to signify being in serious jeopardy or facing severe consequences for one's actions.


- jump the gun = to do something too soon, before the appropriate time, or act too hastily without thinking it through carefully. It originates from the idea of starting a race before the starting gun goes off.

- jump on the bandwagon = to join a popular trend or activity after it has already started.

- jump the shark = to reach a point where a product, idea, or creative work has become implausible or has declined in quality

- jump through hoops =  to go through a series of seemingly unnecessary or overly complicated steps or procedures to accomplish something.

- jump down someone's throat = to respond in an aggressive, harsh or overly critical manner to someone, often without justification.

- jump ship = to leave a difficult job or situation.

- jump for joy = to be extremely happy or excited about something.


about to face the music, called to account, caught in the crosshairs, certain to suffer, doomed fate, done for, facing the music, feeling the noose tighten, fixed, forfeit to pay, going down for this, goner, in deep trouble, IN FOR THE HIGH JUMP, in hot water, on borrowed time, reaping the whirlwind, rendezvous with the rope, sealed fate, up the creek without a paddle

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Robert Louis Stevenson poetically described ‘TO BE IN FOR THE HIGH JUMP’ as ‘sitting down to a banquet of consequences’. ”

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