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camel through the eye of a needle

Used as part of a comparison to indicate that something is impossible or extremely difficult to accomplish. Taken from the passage in the Bible (Luke 18:25), "For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." You'd have an easier time getting a camel through the eye of a needle than getting them to agree on the issue.
See also: camel, eye, needle, of, through

a camel's nose (under the tent)

A small, seemingly innocuous act or decision that will lead to much larger, more serious, and less desirable consequences down the line. The term refers to an alleged Arab proverb that if a camel is allowed to get its nose inside of a tent, it will be impossible to prevent the rest of it from entering. Some regard legalizing same-sex marriage as a camel's nose under the tent, eventually leading to the destruction of marriage altogether. Not hiring an exterminator at the first sign of termites has proved to be a camel's nose, as much of our woodwork is now destroyed.
See also: nose

a camel is a horse designed by a committee

Committees, due to their reliance on several different opinions and viewpoints, produce results that are fragmented, inefficient, or of poor quality, especially compared to the work of a single individual or a small team. A: "Did you see this latest memo? Can you believe the asinine decisions the task force made?" B: "Well, a camel is a horse designed by a committee."

It is the last straw that breaks the camel's back

After someone or something has experienced a series of recurring offenses or problems, even a minor one can be the one that causes one to finally lose patience or for something to stop working. It alludes to the idea that a single additional piece of straw could cause an overladen camel to finally collapse. Common versions of this phrase are "the last straw" and "the straw that broke the camel's back." A: "Why are you furious now? Tom's been taking credit for your ideas for years." B: "It is the last straw that breaks the camel's back!" I've hiked miles and miles in these boots—I can't believe they finally fell apart while I was walking in my own driveway! But I guess it is the last straw that breaks the camel's back.
See also: back, break, last, straw

strain at gnats and swallow camels

Prov. to criticize other people for minor offenses while ignoring major offenses. (Biblical.) Jill: Look at that. Edward is combing his hair at his desk. How unprofessional. Jane: Don't strain at gnats and swallow camels. There are worse problems than that around here.
See also: and, camel, gnat, strain, swallow

the straw that breaks the camel's back

the last in a series of unpleasant events which finally makes you feel that you cannot continue to accept a bad situation Losing my job was bad enough but having the relationship end like that was the straw that broke the camel's back.
See also: back, break, straw


see under last straw.

last straw, the

The final annoyance or setback, which even though minor makes one lose patience. For example, I could put up with his delays and missed deadlines, but when he claimed the work was unimportant-that was the last straw! This term is a shortening of the straw that broke the camel's back, which conveys a vivid image of an overloaded animal being given one slight additional weight. The expression dates from the mid-1800s, and replaced the earlier the last feather that breaks the horse's back.
See also: last

camel toes

n. a woman’s vulva as it appears through blue jeans, especially jeans that have been pulled up too tight. There’s nothing attractive about camel toes.
See also: camel, toe

the straw that broke the camel's back

The final limit of capacity, including patience. An Arabian anecdote told of a camel whose owner loaded the beast of burden with as much straw as possible. Not satisfied with the staggering load he had put on the camel, the owner added just one last piece of straw. Even that one wisp was too much, and the animal collapsed with a broken back, leaving the owner with no way to take his goods to the market. The story is a parable for all the times you've been repeatedly irked until you can't take it anymore and you explode.
See also: back, broke, straw
References in periodicals archive ?
This proves that cloned camels are fertile and can reproduce like other camels.
Racegoers will be in for something a bit different at Chepstow Racecourse this week, as the jockeys swap their sleek thoroughbreds for stubborn, thick-coated camels.
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said allocates an annual competition for the camel racing sport (His Majesty's Cup for camel racing).
Al Bastaki is confident that the success of the concept in Dubai, and especially the popularity of the camel milk option, will be replicated across the GCC and the wider Middle East.
In 2008, Kenyan Vital Camel Milk won FDA approval in the US after a two-year application process and is now readily exported across the country.
Joe is a member of the oldest circus family in the country and has been training animals for more than 35 years including lions, tigers, elephants, bears, horses and of course camels.
If you prefer to keep your outerwear dark and moody, even wardrobe staples have had the camel colour treatment.
Tan, toffee, light coffee and caramel all fit into the camel trend, so there's something out there to suit everyone.
Four camels travelled from Warwickshire for the races along with four female racers.
Citizens of Gulf countries are passionate about camel racing, which is considered a national sport and tradition.
Thousands of camels from around the Arab world will bat their long eyelashes and show off their humps at Abu Dhabi's Miss Camel beauty pageant next month, organizers said on Wednesday.
Specialities such as camel liver have long been on the menu of upmarket restaurants in the Gulf Arab states, but an experiment with baby camel burgers has met with enthusiasm in Saudi Arabia, a country where the camel is a symbol of nomadic traditions.
The news story about the camel who recently made it to the top of Mount Washington brings to mind the United States Army Camel Corps of the 1850s and the Army's effort to switch from horsepower to camelpower.
In December 2008, camel researchers gathered in Canberra at the 2008 Camel Science Conference to come up with a national management plan.
During a desert sandstorm, a camel can shut its nostrils.