clip (one's) wings

clip (one's) wings

To restrict one's freedom, power, or full potential. A reference to the practice of clipping a bird's wings to prevent it from flying. The kids need to be able to explore the world around them—don't clip their wings. The boss is always trying to clip my wings and micro-manage me.
See also: clip, wing

clip someone's wings

Fig. to restrain someone; to reduce or put an end to someone's privileges. (Alludes to clipping a bird's wings to keep it from flying away.) You had better learn to get home on time, or I will clip your wings. My mother clipped my wings. I can't go out tonight.
See also: clip, wing