13

When you are in a minority, say most of the people prefer A to B, if you want to assert your support for B, you can have different moods, e.g.,

(1) brave and combative: "I love B so much more than A, come sue me!!"

(2) cautious I: "Am I the only one supporting B?"

(3) cautious II: In my native language, it is common to say "I am risking my head to say I am for B, not A".

So my question is what's the English equivalent or alternative to "I am risking my head to say" in 3) cautious II above? Thanks.

closed as primarily opinion-based by FumbleFingers, tchrist Jan 27 at 4:18

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

10 Answers 10

38

You are sticking your neck out!

stick (one's) neck out TFD

To personally assume or expose oneself to some risk, danger, or responsibility; to imperil oneself or put oneself in harm's way.

The figurative interpretation is you are taking a risk, as you risk having it chopped off!

11

As FumbleFingers answered in a comment to the question,

I know I'm going out on a limb by expressing my support for B rather than A (figuratively, on a tree branch that might not be strong enough to support my weight).

(I wrote this in case the comment gets deleted by a mod.)

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – tchrist Jan 27 at 4:19
10

There is a similar idiom in the form of:

They'll (probably) hang me for this, but ...

Some examples from the web:

I know hotel and restaurant owners will hang me for this, but only visit them if you can afford it ...

I know pros would want to hang me for this, but the problem is that ...

Somebody will probably hang me for this, but anyway: I am using the v700 and I think it is a very good solution ...

And from Google Books:

I do realize that what I am stating here is not going to bode well with my fellow Christians who may want to hang me for this, but I find it very difficult to not respect a leader who stared down the most powerful army of the region ...

Survival: The Ultimate Mission by Robert Skaf

8

to risk your neck

If you say that someone is risking their neck, you mean they are doing something very dangerous, often in order to achieve something.

-Collins online

or

"It's (risking) my neck to come out for candidate A"

  • 3
    Risking your neck generally implies doing something dangerous, not saying something that'll make you unpopular. – Marthaª Jan 25 at 17:55
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    Erm..but in most of the world, given the present political climate, (not USA, not Europe...think Russia, Africa, middle east), expressing an opinion can be a very dangerous action. @Marthaª – Cascabel Jan 25 at 20:00
  • 3
    Yes, I know, but that's clearly not the context the OP is talking about. – Marthaª Jan 25 at 23:40
3

As Wmbuch answered in a comment to the question,

You might also begin with Don't shoot me, but...

(I wrote this in case the comment gets deleted by a mod.)

3

In English, it's also common to say "I'm risking my neck" as well. But that would be for something more serious than just being a lone dissenter about a minor thing. It's more likely in that case to say "I'm sticking my neck out".

Examples of the terms and contexts they might be used in:

  • If I found out that the company I worked for was a mafia front company, and I wore a wire for the cops to gather evidence, I'm risking my neck.
  • If I am the only person who thinks that The Star Wars Holiday Special is a classic, and I interrupt friends who are making fun of it to defend its merits, I'm sticking my neck out.
  • In keeping with the Star Wars theme, there is a line where C-3PO says to R2-D2, "Why I should stick my neck out for you is quite beyond my capacity."
  • It's not uncommon - but in different circumstances and with a different meaning, e.g. "I'm risking my neck to help you". – michael.hor257k Jan 25 at 19:11
  • In the majority of the countries in the world (sad to say) but expressing a dissenting political opinion is actually risking your neck. – Cascabel Jan 25 at 19:54
2

In addition to "risking my neck", mentioned in another answer, I suggest "risking life and limb" which is also idiomatic and means the same.

"risk life and limb" - Take dangerous chances, as in

  • "There he was on the roof, risking life and limb to rescue the kitten."
  • "I'm sure it's thrilling, but I'd rather not risk life and limb just for a bit of an adrenaline rush."

Edit - After reading the comments, I must admit my answer doesn't really fit the bill as it usually means physical harm but is only rarely, if ever, used as a metaphor.

  • 1
    Would I be risking life and limb by pointing out that this is a completely different sense than the one I went out on a limb with in my comment to the question? :) – FumbleFingers Jan 25 at 15:59
  • @FumbleFingers No, you wouldn't. But I'd risk my neck to say it's idiomatic and seems like a good fit. – Centaurus Jan 25 at 16:02
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    @FumbleFingers I've heard people bet their ass, though. – Centaurus Jan 25 at 16:18
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    I personally have only encountered "risk life & limb" used for instances of risk of physical injury, not metaphorically for "social" risk or losing face. The thefreedictionary.com link only has examples of this phrase being used for physical risk. "risking one's neck" can be metaphorical, but the 2 idioms don't seem fully substitutable. – Kelvin Jan 25 at 18:10
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    @Cascabel: As it happens, I just watched a couple of Goldie Hawn movies with my twenty-something daughter last week, and we both agreed she had a real shapely ass! – FumbleFingers Jan 26 at 12:51
2

While I like lbf's answer, another option would be to say "I'm putting my ___ on the line" (where "___" could be "reputation", or it could be "ass").

See The Free Dictionary's entry for "put on the line":

expose to a chance of loss or damage; "We risked losing a lot of money in this venture"; "Why risk your life?"; "She laid her job on the line when she told the boss that he was wrong"

  • 3
    FWIW I'm pretty sure it's okay to spell out 'Ass' or 'Butt' in the context of your answer here. – aslum Jan 25 at 20:57
1

A slightly less common variant of risking my neck, which might also match the OP's intention is:

I'm putting my neck on the line

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/put-your-neck-on-the-line

I can't immediately see any explanation of its origin online, but I guess the line implies a train line. Or ... was there a line at the foot of madame la guillotine?

0

I think “I'm risking my head to say…”, as in the question, would be perfectly well understood by all English speakers.

That exact wording may not be as common as in the OP's native language, but it's similar enough to other common phrases (as per other answers), and doesn't sound at all odd in English.

So maybe it doesn't really need an alternative or equivalent after all?

  • Thanks for your comment. My intention was to learn if a native English speaker were to be in such a situation, what would s/he be using. – swoopin_swallow Jan 25 at 18:35
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    @swoopin_swallow using 'head', despite it being understood, is not idiomatic English (does not come naturally, native speakers would just not say it that way). – Mitch Jan 25 at 19:13
  • @Mitch Were you trying to reply to gidds answer? What you said agrees with my comment. – swoopin_swallow Jan 25 at 19:33
  • @swoopin_swallow I was replying to you. You said in your comment "My intention was to learn ...what they would use " and my comment says you would not use 'head'. There is nothing to agree with in your comment because it is asking a question rather than making a statement. – Mitch Jan 25 at 20:10
  • @Mitch I am confused. In my comment I indicated I want to know what a native speaker would use, i.e., I know "risking head" is only a proper way to say it in my native language, I would not use "head" when I speak English. Wasn't it what you wanted me to know? – swoopin_swallow Jan 25 at 20:22

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