give them an inch, they’ll take a mile

Idiom

Give them an inch, they’ll take a mile

Definition

A warning against giving too much to someone, as they may take advantage of the situation and ask for more.

Examples

We were only asking her to help out with the project, but once we gave her an inch, she took a mile!

If you give him an inch, he’ll think he can take a mile – so only give him what he needs!

Origin

Believed to have originated in the 16th century.

FAQs

Question

Where does the phrase ‘give them an inch, they’ll take a mile’ come from?

Answer

The phrase is believed to have originated in the 16th century.

Question

What does the phrase ‘give them an inch, they’ll take a mile’ mean?

Answer

The phrase is used to caution against giving too much to someone, as they may take advantage of the situation and ask for more.