“Give An Inch, Take A Mile” is Idiomatic

By Larry Teren


“Give an inch and take a mile” is one of those common phrases found in a dictionary of idioms. It very well expresses the disparity found in situations where someone is getting taken advantage of (usually me). One must speak it in frustration sprinkled with a dash of sarcasm.


For example-you can pretty much tell what takes up much of my mind- let’s say you are driving your car on a major road and are behind three others as the light turns red. As the drivers ahead of you quickly slow down and put on the brakes, so do you. There is a hamburger drive-thru joint at that corner and while you have been sitting there for thirty seconds wondering when the cross light is going to warn the intersecting traffic with a yellow signal, all of a sudden a car inches up to the exit area of the drive-thru. The driver lets his foot off the brake gently so he can move his car off the driveway closer to the street. This is universal way of letting the car that is on the street know that when the light turns green, the car yearning to get out of the drive-thru is going to attempt a mad dash into traffic. No harm, no foul- maybe. Traffic in our direction wasn’t moving anyway.   Continue reading ““Give An Inch, Take A Mile” is Idiomatic”