a little dab'll do ya

a little dab'll do ya

A small amount of something, especially a paste, cream, ointment, etc., will be enough to serve your purpose. Originally part of an advertising slogan in the 1950s for Brylcreem, a hair styling product for men. Primarily heard in US. This is a very powerful anti-inflammatory cream, so don't use too much—a little dab'll do ya. Now, a little dab'll do ya with this chili paste, as you don't want to overpower the other flavors in the curry. Whoa, whoa, you don't need that much toothpaste, Billy! Come on, now, a little dab'll do ya!
See also: little, YA
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a little dab'll do ya

or

a little dab will do you

AMERICAN, INFORMAL
People say a little dab'll do ya or a little dab will do you to mean that a small amount of something is enough. The thing to remember about cooking with shrimp paste is that a little dab will do ya. Note: This expression was originally an advertising slogan for hair cream in the 1960s.
See also: little, YA
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
'A little dab'll do ya' was the advertising slogan for which grooming product?
It was also adapted by the makers of cartoon series The Flinstones, with Fred shrieking: "Yabba dabba doo!" The complete slogan is a little less enduring: "Brylcreem, A Little Dab'll Do Ya! Brylcreem, You'll look so debonair.
The early advertising slogan - A Little Dab'll Do Ya - was on everyone's lips and survived the test of time.
A LITTLE DAB'LL DO YA! We all know how hard it is opening glue bottles at the beginning of the school year.
A little dab'll do ya. You don't need to cover the whole brush head with toothpaste; a pea-sized amount is enough.
The lyrics to their jingle, which I suspect was mainly used in the United States, were: "Brylcreem, a little dab'll do ya. Brylcreem, you'll look so debonair!
"Or it means suffice," my wife said, "as in 'That will do' or 'A little dab'll do ya. '"
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