Tit for Tat

Tit for Tat: What Does the Useful Phrase “Tit for Tat” Mean?

The idiom tit for tat might often be heard during an English conversation, it is a frequently used term in day to day speech. We are going to take a look at the meaning of this phrase and find out where it first came from. We are also going to be looking at some examples of the term appearing in conversation in order to better understand how it functions.

Tit for Tat

Tit for Tat Meaning

The term tit for tat refers to minor revenge on a situation where a minor act has been committed against a person.

Origin of this useful phrase

The phrase tit for tat is thought to have derived from middle English from a term which means blow for blow.

“Tit for Tat” Examples

Examples in Statements

You are likely see or hear the term tit for tat in a variety of different contexts, we are now going to look at some examples of the term being used in a sentence.

The first statement is being made by one parent to another.

  • I know the children are being mean to one another but it’s very superficial and just tit for tat.

The second statement is being made by a mother to her daughter.

  • Your boyfriend might be ignoring you today but you ignored him yesterday, it’s tit for tat.

Conversation Examples

We are now going to take a look at some examples of conversations in which the idiom tit for tat is likely to be seen. This will help us to understand how the term works in day to day conversation.

The first example is a conversation between co-workers.

  • Person 1: “David keeps leaving his papers in my waste paper bin.”
  • Person 2: “It’s not a big deal.”
  • Person 1: “No but it’s annoying. I might start doing it to him.”
  • Person 2: “What’s the point in engaging in tit for tat?”

The next conversation is taking place between two friends.

  • Person 1: “I am so tired of Rachel taking my favourite clothes without asking.”
  • Person 2: “Why don’t you just tell her?”
  • Person 1: “No, I am going to start doing something irritating to her and see how she likes it.”
  • Person 1: “It’s just tit for tat then.”

Other examples:

  • John kicked me, so I gave him tit for tat.
  • This time we gave tit for tat, fought and made a very good job of it.
  • I noticed she didn’t send me a card – I think it was tit for tat because I forgot her birthday last year.
  • They had a warm debate and the two gave each other tit for tat.

Other Ways to Say the Idiom

There are other ways in which you might say the term tit for tat, we are now going to take a look at some ways in which you might do this.

  • Eye for an eye
  • Quid pro quo
  • You receive as you give

Tit for Tat Meaning | Picture

Tit for Tat

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