pay too dearly for (one's) whistle(redirected from paid too dearly for their whistles)
pay too dearly for (one's) whistle
To spend a lot of money or effort on something that is ultimately disappointing or unfulfilling. The phrase refers to a story by Benjamin Franklin about a boy who wanted a whistle so much that he overpaid for it and soon lost interest in it. I worked night and day to get this position, but now I have very few friends—I guess I paid too dearly for my whistle.