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put (one's) finger in the dyke

To make a small effort or action to mitigate the damage or spread of something unpleasant, undesirable, or dangerous. There appears to be a huge cash flow problem. It's not just a matter of putting our fingers in the dyke; we'll need to completely overhaul our monthly expenses to keep us from going bankrupt. We can't just keep putting our fingers in the dyke every time there's a security breach like this; we need to figure out how hackers keep getting into the system.
See also: dyke, finger, put

put (one's) stamp on (something)

To do or produce something in a way that demonstrates one's unique style, influence, or interpretation. Though he only produced the film, it's clear that the auteur director put his stamp on it. The new CEO has made it clear she intends to put her own stamp on the company. The novel is the author's attempt to put his stamp on Shakespeare's Hamlet.
See also: on, put, stamp

put your finger in the dyke

attempt to stem the advance of something undesirable which threatens to overwhelm you. informal
This expression stems from the story of a small Dutch boy who saved his community from flooding by placing his finger in a hole in a dyke.
See also: dyke, finger, put


and dyke
n. a lesbian; a bulldiker. (Rude and derogatory.) Who’s the dike in the cowboy boots?


See dike