Month: October 2018

touch and go

The literal and original meaning of this phrase is to briefly touch on something and then go on to something else. But these days we usually take “touch and go” to describe a risky, precarious, or delicate state of things, where the slightest change could prove disastrous. We might say of a heart operation that it was touch and go…

a fly in the ointment

A “fly in the ointment” is a minor flaw or irritation that spoils the success or enjoyment of something, especially one that wasn’t at first apparent. Example: “We had a cookstove, beans, and plates; the fly in the ointment was the lack of a can opener.” In my opinion, that was more than a fly; that was a great bumbling…