dead men's shoes

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dead men's shoes

A position or entitlement that will only be achieved by someone's death. Derived from the proverb, "It's ill waiting for dead men's shoes." Dead men's shoes are about the only high-paying positions one can hope for in these tough economic times.
See also: dead, shoe
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

dead men's shoes

BRITISH
Dead men's shoes is a situation in which people cannot make progress in their careers until someone senior to them retires or dies. We are sick of waiting to step into dead men's shoes. In those days, jobs were difficult to obtain. It was more or less dead men's shoes.
See also: dead, shoe
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

dead men's shoes

property or a position coveted by a prospective successor but available only on a person's death.
See also: dead, shoe
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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