There is such an idiom in English "take sth lying down" which means to endure something unpleasant without fighting back.


  • He insulted me publicly. You don't expect me to take that lying down, do you?

I have researched on the Internet, but I couldn't find some constructions including this idiom about some other concepta like "money", "right" etc.

For instance, I need to know if saying:

  • Don't take your money lying down.


  • Don't take your right lying down.

considered to be natural and idiomatic?

  • But money normally isn't considered offensive. (I'm not sure I understand your other sentence.) What are you trying to say?
    – user3395
    Apr 13, 2019 at 11:23
  • 2
    This is a good question, but “gake your right” does not make sense. Can you clarify what you mean? Apr 13, 2019 at 12:59
  • If you mean something please use that word—not sth. Apr 13, 2019 at 15:11
  • @whiskeychief I'm sorry for the typo! I've corrected my thread already.
    – A-friend
    Apr 13, 2019 at 15:42
  • @A-friend No problem! Unfortunately, I still don’t know what you mean by “don’t take your right lying down”; that is definitely not an idiom. Apr 13, 2019 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


Your understanding of the meaning of "take something lying down" is more-or-less correct: the something must be some negative or insulting event or action that you could choose to fight back against. When you say that someone is "taking something lying down", you are criticising them for doing nothing in response to something that has happened to them — they are "lying down" when they should have jumped to their feet and reacted immediately!

So, with that understanding, let's look at your example (I don't understand your second example, so I'll concentrate on the first):

Don't take your money lying down.

Since your money isn't an event or action, and it isn't negative or insulting, this sentence doesn't make sense. Something has to happen. So, perhaps, this might be closer to what you mean:

Don't take the theft of your money lying down.

Someone stole your money! That's an event or action that's negative, that you could take some action about (go demand your money back; report a crime; secure the money you have left; etc.). That's an awkward sentence though, which is why we are much more likely to say "take that lying down" or "take it lying down", where the pronouns that and it refer to something obvious from context. So,

They stole your money! Don't take that lying down.

As for your question in comments below, a suitable idiom that might convey a similar meaning about an object might be to "take something for granted." If you say:

Don't take your money for granted.


Don't take your rights for granted.

you're encouraging your reader to consider the real value of the object, and protect it appropriately.

  • 1
    Thank you very much @Johnny. Dirst of all I apologize because of my typo on the second exaple where I meant "take"! Then, in order to make it more clear to myself, you mentioned: event or action, and it isn't negative or insulting; do you mean that this idiom cannot be used for a "object" and it must be used "only" for an even/action or something negative? If so, then I would really apreciate it if you let me know whether there is an alternative in English which can be used for an object conveying the same message as the idiom im my question.
    – A-friend
    Apr 13, 2019 at 15:48
  • 1
    Yes, @A-friend, that's exactly what I mean. I've expanded the answer the give a better explanation of the idiom, and suggest "take something for granted" as an alternative for objects. Hope that helps!
    – Johnny
    Apr 13, 2019 at 16:02
  • Many thanks to you, but as per all dictionaries' definitions, **take something for granted" has two meanings only, which have no any overlap with the topic in my question! 1. to never think about something because you believe it will always be available or stay exactly the same 2. to not show that you are grateful for someone or something, and forget that you are lucky to have them: Is there something missing that I couldn't discover it?
    – A-friend
    Apr 13, 2019 at 19:11
  • 1
    Since the meaning of the original phrase can't apply to objects, I can't give you a phrase that means the exact same thing, but does apply to objects. So, that's the closest I could think of. Perhaps a thoughtfully worded question at english.stackexchange.com would get a different perspective and a better answer! Good luck.
    – Johnny
    Apr 13, 2019 at 19:16

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