squeak

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the squeaking wheel gets the grease

The people who complain or protest the loudest are the ones who receive the most attention from others. My sister makes a point of writing letters of complaint to businesses whenever she has an issue with their service, and nine times out of ten, she's rewarded with some kind of discount or gift. I guess it's true, the squeaking wheel gets the grease.
See also: get, grease, squeak, wheel

narrow squeak

Fig. a success almost not achieved; a lucky or marginal success; a problem almost not surmounted. That was a narrow squeak. I don't know how I survived. Another narrow squeak like that and I'll give up.
See also: narrow, squeak

squeak by

 (someone or something)
1. Fig. to manage just to squeeze past someone or something. I squeaked by the fat man in the hallway only to find myself blocked by another. I just barely squeaked by.
2. Fig. to manage just to get past a barrier represented by a person or thing, such as a difficult teacher or an examination. Judy just squeaked by Professor Smith, who has a reputation for flunking students. I took the test and just squeaked by.
See also: squeak

squeak something through

Fig. to manage just to get something accepted or approved. I just managed to squeak the proposal through. Tom squeaked the application through at the last minute.
See also: squeak

squeak through

 (something)
1. Fig. to manage just to squeeze through an opening. The child squeaked through the opening and escaped. Sally squeaked through and got away.
2. Fig. to manage just to get past a barrier, such as an examination or interview. (Fig. on {2}.) Sally just barely squeaked through the interview, but she got the job. I wasn't too alert and I just squeaked through.
See also: squeak

squeaking wheel gets the oil

 and squeaky wheel gets the oil
Prov. People who complain the most will get attention or what they want. If you don't get good service at the hotel, make sure to tell the manager that you're dissatisfied. The squeaking wheel gets the oil.
See also: get, oil, squeak, wheel

squeak by

Also, squeak through. Manage barely to pass, win, survive, or the like, as in They are just squeaking by on their income, or He squeaked through the driver's test. This idiom transfers squeak in the sense of "barely emit a sound" to "narrowly manage something." [First half of 1900s] Also see squeeze through.
See also: squeak

squeak by

v.
To manage barely to pass, win, or survive someone or something: I squeaked by the first round but won the rest of my matches easily. My parents squeaked by on a limited income.
See also: squeak

squeak through

v.
To manage barely to pass, win, or survive something: The student squeaked through the course with a D minus.
See also: squeak

narrow squeak

n. a success almost not achieved; a lucky or marginal success; a problem almost not surmounted. That was a narrow squeak. I don’t know how I survived.
See also: narrow, squeak
References in classic literature ?
You said you were going home," he squeaked miserably.
Nature-loving Annie said: "It was ready to get squished by an oncoming vehicle, so I went to pick Nutkin up and he/she squeaked and wriggled.
It weighed 100 kilograms (nearly 16 stone), had a face and squeaked and they were convinced they had captured an alien.
Murakami, who has committed to UCLA, finished third individually with a clocking of 17 minutes, 34 seconds on the hilly three-mile course, as Saugus (93:39, 100 points) squeaked past Buchanan of Clovis (93:21, 103) and Torrey Pines of San Diego (94:15, 103).
The Republican bill squeaked by with a 217-214 win, meaning that neither the Senate nor President Clinton is likely to accept the plan.
IF John Major is the mouse who roared, Douglas Alexander must be the mouse who squeaked.
One young boy squeaked into the mike, then covered his face.
Milton wanted to get away from the other young mice who all squeaked properly.
The Badgers, who squeaked out wins over Western Michigan, Cincinnati and Oregon to open the season, dropped their first three Big Ten games.
Not a bad plan--except that when Sally sat down at her desk, she squeaked.
But even with the decline, the Los Angeles Customs District - as it's known - squeaked past New York's 1998 trade total of $180.