kick around

The verb “have” (to possess, own or hold) is a major verb in the English language, one that is straightforward enough to use. Add to it another element, such as an adverb or a preposition, and the new compound verb takes on an entirely new meaning. Continuing our series on compounds, here are a few examples that start with the letters H, I, J and K.











have over

To invite to one’s home

Example: We had the Trumps over for drinks, but we never talked about politics.


have at

To attempt or attack forcefully

Example: They jumped in the pool and had at it with the swim floats.


To start doing

Example: Look at that beautiful cake. Let’s have at it!


head for

To move in a direction

Example: Spectators headed for the exits when the score reached 50-0.


To move inevitably towards

Example: The boy is heading for stardom with such masterful violin performances.


head off

To start or leave

Example: Mountain climbers head off before sunrise to reach the summit.


To intercept or divert; to prevent or forestall

Example: By taking the safe route, we may be able to head off disaster.


hear of

To know about

Example: I never heard of that before.












hit it off

To become friends

Example: We hit it off from the beginning.


hold down (something)

To keep under control or severely limit

Example: The government held down prices so consumers would purchase more goods.


To fulfil the duties of

Example: He held down two jobs despite training four times a week for the marathon.


hold to

To make someone maintain a commitment

Example: The citizens want to hold the leaders to their promise of lowering taxes.











inject into

To add to

Example: The town board injected cautionary views into the discussion about the waterfront.


iron out

To remove through discussion or compromiseiron

Example: We’ll need to iron out the issues before the session begins.


itch for

To really want/desire

Example: Fashionistas are itching for a new look in outerwear this fall.









jack up

To increase or raise

Example: Stores are jacking up prices in anticipation of an influx of tourists.


jerk around

To behave stupidly

Example: They were jerking around and not being serious about the new rules.


juice blender

juice up

To make more exciting or powerful

Example: Mechanics love to juice up their cars before entering the competition.










keep up

To move or progress at the same rate

Example: They’ll need to keep up with the latest technology.


kick around

To discuss or consider

Example: They’ve been kicking around that idea for years.


To treat unfairly

Example: Not even the mayor wants to be kicked around any more about the traffic problems.


To be in a place without definite plans

Example: They kicked around the city for over a week before heading for the mountains.


kick in

To take effect or become operative

Example: The medicine kicked in after 30 minutes.


knock back

To gulp or take an alcoholic drink

Example: She knocked back the gin as if it were water.


knock out

To render unconscious

Example: He didn’t mean to knock her out with his elbow.


To defeat

Example: The team was knocked out of the competition in the first round.

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