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For a frying pan and a pot etc. I've always used the two verbs:

  • take the lid off a pot, frying pan etc.

and for covering them the verb:

  • put the lid on something

Recently, I found out that there are some even more important meanings for these two idioms, and just for keeping on the safe side, I opened this thread to make sure if these two are the most common verbs which you use in this case or not?

I have listed the other connotations of the two verbs below:

  • To take the lid off something:
    To keep something under control and stop it from increasing:
  • Example: We’ve got to keep a lid on our credit-card purchases.

and

  • To put the lid on something:
  • To keep something under control and stop it from increasing.

Therefore, I needed to make sure which verbs do you normally use for these two meanings?

1 Answer 1

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You wrote:

To take the lid off something:
To keep something under control and stop it from increasing: Example: We’ve got to keep a lid on our credit-card purchases. and

To put the lid on something: To keep something under control and stop it from increasing.

In your first example, you wrote "take the lid off" and then explained "keep a lid on". They mean opposite things. To figuratively "take the lid off" something is to uncover something hidden or secret. To figuratively "put (or keep) a (or the) lid on" something is to keep it secret or hidden.

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