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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

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 periodicals archive ?
In the northwestern part across the fields, however, the main dyke gets much thicker (16-30 m), and contains up to 3 m thick granite septa.
He said the preparatory stage for long-term dyke construction had commenced, urging the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and South Sudan ministry of water and irrigation to contribute on development of a permanent dyke in Twic East.
Police officers were telling me they'd never seen anything like it," Van Dyke said.
Everybody thought we played really well in the first game and narrowly lost," Dyke said.
The modern border between England and Wales closely follows much of the route of the dyke.
Both men went outside and it was then punches were thrown which connected from DyKe, and Mr Hirst went to the ground.
We also sampled the Caraquet Dyke (Greenough and Papezik 1986) that extends a minimum of 470 km across New Brunswick (Burke et al.
It was also being pointed out last night that Dyke is a part-time chairman rather than full-time and that there was an expectation that the situation would not arise in future.
Dyke highlighted today what he sees as a "frightening trend" of young English players who are not getting the chance to play at the top level.
In a high-profile broadcasting industry career, Dyke has worked as director general of the BBC and managing director of London Weekend Television.
It would not be the last job Van Dyke would consider himself fortunate for getting.
Mr Dyke, who chairs the Local Television Advisory Committee, has submitted a 40-page report to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt with his suggestions.
MOVES to have Offa's Dyke listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site are being backed by a North Wales group.
Recorder Simon Drew told dad Matthew Dyke at Wolverhampton Crown Court it was an "unpleasant" incident and it was clear Samantha Bastable had become "upset and emotional".
Don't Assume That We Prefer Men" T-Shirt by Dyke Tees, Habitual 'Loft Little Sister in the City' jeans, 'Sande' Snapboots with Rolled Toecap by Tamera Lindsay.