slippery(redirected from slipperiness)
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A situation in which some behavior or action will eventually lead to a worse form of the same behavior or action, or a disastrous outcome. Eating that piece of cake is a slippery slope that could lead to you completely abandoning your diet. Verbal abuse is often a slippery slope that leads to physical abuse.
*slippery as an eel
devious and untrustworthy, but impossible to catch. (*Also: as ~.) Don't sign a lease with that landlord; I think he's as slippery as an eel. The con artist was slippery as an eel. Although he defrauded many people, he never went to prison.
1. Fig. a clever and deceitful customer. Watch out for that guy with the big padded coat. He may snatch something. He's a real slippery customer.
2. Fig. a slippery creature. This little fish is a slippery customer. Get me something to scoop it back into its bowl.
a dangerous pathway or route to follow; a route that leads to trouble. The matter of euthanasia is a slippery slope with both legal and moral considerations.
on a slippery slope
in a situation that is likely to become more difficult or complicated We started arguing, and then we got on the slippery slope of what's fair and what's not fair. So far, we have taken only the first few steps toward a society in which different people would have different rights, but we are on a slippery slope.
Usage notes: sometimes used without on: Where does this slippery slope end?
a slippery slope
a situation or habit that is likely to lead to a worse situation or habit If you let kids stay up late a few nights you're on a slippery slope. My advice is to keep away from all drugs. It's a slippery slope.
be as slippery as an eel
someone who is as slippery as an eel cannot be trusted
Usage notes: An eel is a long fish which has a body like a snake.You'd be mad to go into business with him. He's as slippery as an eel.
slippery as an eel
Elusive, devious, as in When it comes to talking about his investments, Jim's slippery as an eel. This simile, first recorded about 1412, alludes to the eel's skin, which has tiny scales and is quite slippery when wet.
A dangerous course, one that leads easily to catastrophe, as in He's on a slippery slope, compromising his values to please both the bosses and the union . This metaphoric expression alludes to traversing a slick hillside, in constant danger of falling. [Mid-1900s]