Stand and deliver,
Your money or your life!
Highwaymen such as Dick Turpin rode on horseback along main routes in deserted places and held up a stage-coach at gunpoint. Their victims were offered the choice of handing over their valuables or being shot.
Not for the life of me.
This is an idiomatic way of saying that something is impossible for me.
I couldn’t do it to save my life or if my life depended on it are similar in meaning.
The latter might be used in a slightly more positive way. Perhaps I would try something if my life depended on it!
It’s more than my life’s worth sounds as if something is proposed, which would result in capital punishment. (In the UK this was abolished in living memory.) The expression is a way of refusing to do something.
Life on the ocean wave is the opening line of a song.
The life and soul of the party is a cheerful person, who keeps everyone entertained.
A way of life is how someone chooses to live. “Cats are a way of life,” said one of my friends. That seemed strange to me. A way of life is an expression which could open up a realm of possibilities for exploration by writers. It could include faith, working patterns, hobbies, sport, travel, diet and coping with illness or disability.
Variety is the spice of life.
This saying is comparing the way spice makes food more interesting with different activities making life more enjoyable.
It’s as large as life, and twice as natural!
is a description of someone with a remarkable personality. It is a quotation from Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll and describes Alice, a child, to a unicorn.
The story of my life is often said when someone feels that the same kinds of things keep happening to them. Really it should be one’s (auto)biography. Sometimes complete strangers have told me their story of life history.
Anything you can’t live without? is a question about what people really need. I asked it before visiting my daughter. Then we were at a garage sale and the stuff was being cleared away. The householder said, “Just say if you see anything you can’t live without!”