clip 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

clip someone's wings, to

To deflate a conceited person. Although at first glance this phrase might seem to have a military origin (from demoting an officer whose rank is indicated by wings), the metaphor actually comes from birds— specifically, the practice of clipping the wings of domestic fowl so they cannot fly away—and dates from ancient Roman times. “Away to prison with him, I’ll clippe his winges,” wrote Christopher Marlowe (The Massacre at Paris, 1590, 3.2).
See also: clip
References in periodicals archive ?
Yet today up on the Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi's sleeves is a mission ( imp)possible: to clip wings and stay back Ruto's barreling tide in Gusii region.
A It is not a painful procedure to clip wings. Many animal lovers would say owning birds at all is cruel, but for the ones that do, this can help keep their feathered friend grounded.
It decides on a weekly basis which products will be featured on clip wings and which will be marked down, by how much and for how long.
Crashing: The planes clip wings; Fireball: One bursts into flames