A piece of the action


      • involvement in an activity or task
        To participate or have a share in an activity or task, typically one that is exciting or profitable

      • share of profits or benefits
        To have a stake in the potential rewards or gains from an activity or venture

    Examples of A piece of the action

    • John wanted a share of the profits from the business, so he asked the owner for a piece of the action.

      This idiom means to have a part in something, especially something that is profitable or successful. In this case, John wanted to be involved in the business and receive a portion of the earnings.

    • Sarah's brother is a famous actor, but she prefers to stay out of the limelight. She's content with just being related to him and not needing a piece of the action.

      This example shows that the idiom can also be used to mean not wanting to be too involved in something, but still benefiting from it indirectly. Sarah's brother's success brings her some recognition and prestige, but she doesn't need to actively participate in his career to enjoy these benefits.

    • The politician's family has been involved in politics for generations, and they've always had a piece of the action.

      This example shows that the idiom can also be used to describe a long-standing tradition or pattern of behavior. In this case, the politician's family has a history of being involved in politics, and this tradition continues to this day.

    • The company's marketing department wanted a piece of the budget for their new campaign, but the CEO wasn't convinced it was necessary.

      This example shows that the idiom can also be used in a more competitive context, where people or departments are vying for resources or opportunities. In this case, the marketing department wants a share of the budget for their campaign, but the CEO is hesitant to give it to them.

    • The musician played a small club last night, but he's hoping to get a piece of the action at the big festival next month.

      This example shows that the idiom can also be used to describe someone's aspirations or goals. In this case, the musician is hoping to get a chance to perform at the big festival, which would be a more high-profile and lucrative opportunity than playing at a small club.


    The idiom "a piece of the action" is often used to describe involvement in an activity or task, as well as a share of profits or benefits. It can be used in a literal sense, such as being a part of a team or project, or in a figurative sense, such as having a stake in a business venture.

    In the context of discouraging someone, this idiom can be used to advise against taking a role in an activity or task. It suggests that the individual will not receive any significant benefits or rewards, and therefore should not bother participating.

    In contrast, when used to describe someone's desire to have a piece of the action, it conveys a sense of eagerness and excitement to be involved in something potentially profitable or successful. It can also be used to express a sense of entitlement or desire for a share of rewards in a particular venture.

    Origin of "A piece of the action"

    The phrase "a piece of the action" originated in the early 20th century and is believed to have come from the world of gambling. In card games, players would often put a small piece of their own money on the table to show that they were willing to participate in the game. This piece of money became known as "a piece of the action."

    Over time, the phrase evolved to be used in a broader sense to refer to any type of activity or task. It can also be traced back to the phrase "a piece of the cake," which has a similar meaning of wanting a share of the benefits or rewards.

    Today, "a piece of the action" is a commonly used idiom in both formal and informal contexts, and it continues to be associated with involvement and potential gains in various situations.