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put (one's) finger in the dyke

To make a small effort or action to mitigate the damage or spread of something unpleasant, undesirable, or dangerous. There appears to be a huge cash flow problem. It's not just a matter of putting our fingers in the dyke; we'll need to completely overhaul our monthly expenses to keep us from going bankrupt. We can't just keep putting our fingers in the dyke every time there's a security breach like this; we need to figure out how hackers keep getting into the system.
See also: dyke, finger, put

put (one's) stamp on (something)

To do or produce something in a way that demonstrates one's unique style, influence, or interpretation. Though he only produced the film, it's clear that the auteur director put his stamp on it. The new CEO has made it clear she intends to put her own stamp on the company. The novel is the author's attempt to put his stamp on Shakespeare's Hamlet.
See also: on, put, stamp


1. A derogatory and highly offensive term for a woman who is masculine in appearance and/or sensibility. Typically used of lesbians who exhibit such traits.
2. A reclaimed term (see Definition 1) used by homosexuals for a woman who is masculine in appearance and/or sensibility. Typically used of lesbians who exhibit such traits. Yeah, I'm a dyke who's attracted to femmes.

put your finger in the dyke

attempt to stem the advance of something undesirable which threatens to overwhelm you. informal
This expression stems from the story of a small Dutch boy who saved his community from flooding by placing his finger in a hole in a dyke.
See also: dyke, finger, put


and dyke
n. a lesbian; a bulldiker. (Rude and derogatory.) Who’s the dike in the cowboy boots?


See dike
References in classic literature ?
On either side of him flowed a narrow dike filled with salt-water.
He then somehow scrambled into the saddle, and with a "Gee up" and a clap on my sides with both his legs, he started on his journey, making a little circuit to avoid the dike.
Two mornings after this little scene, although the day was rainy and gusty, and Amelia had had an exceedingly wakeful night, listening to the wind roaring, and pitying all travellers by land and by water, yet she got up early and insisted upon taking a walk on the Dike with Georgy; and there she paced as the rain beat into her face, and she looked out westward across the dark sea line and over the swollen billows which came tumbling and frothing to the shore.
A hundred fears poured one over the other into the little heart, as fast as the waves on to the Dike.
Southward, the high ridge of the sea dike, and the grim, massive circle of a martello tower reared high on its mound of grass, closed the view darkly on all that lay beyond.
earthworks (iw deichbau); - pouring two full dikes in the protection of the existing dikes; - dyke length approx.
Five dikes in Pampanga, built to contain floodwaters and lahar discharged by Mt.
One important issue in designing the spur dikes is the phenomenon of their tip local scouring which is due to narrowing the cross-flow and the strong eddy flows.
When the Wachusett Reservoir was constructed at the turn of the last century, the earthen dams - or dikes - were intended to remain free of trees and shrubs to ensure their integrity.
It's a big strain on their subsistence economy to take the time to rebuild the dikes.
Over 100 years into mining production in Sudbury offset mineral dikes that could lead to new economical ore bodies are still being found.
Seismic failure of river dikes and current trend of its rehabilitation in Japan are summarized.
Canada border manned the dikes Saturday as they worked to hold off the swelling Red River.
The middle layer is made of sheeted dikes -- thin, vertical structures that form when magma solidifies in the crack between the plates.