step on toes


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step on someone's toes

 and tread on someone's toes 
1. Lit. to step down onto someone's toes, causing pain. Please don't step on my toes as you walk by.
2. Fig. to offend or insult someone, as if causing physical pain. You're sure I won't be stepping on her toes if I talk directly to her supervisor? I didn't mean to tread on your toes.
See also: on, step, toe

step on (somebody's) toes

to upset someone, esp. by getting involved in something that is their responsibility It's hard to make changes in the department without stepping on a lot of toes. He's willing to step on toes to get things done.
See also: on, step, toe

step/tread on somebody's toes

to say or do something which upsets someone, especially by becoming involved in something which is their responsibility I'd like to make some changes to the working procedures, but I don't want to tread on anyone's toes.
See keep on toes
See also: on, step, toe