give (one) enough rope

(redirected from gave him enough rope)

give (one) enough rope

If you give people the opportunity to do something wrong or detrimental to themselves, they will usually do it; one does not need to interfere to bring about someone's downfall. The full version is, "Give (one) enough rope, and (one) will hang (one)self." Don't interrupt him with questions. Just let him keep talking and he'll incriminate himself. Give him enough rope and see what happens.
See also: enough, give, rope

give someone

see other entries beginning with give someone, or under give one, or look up the expression by its other words, as give the benefit of the doubt.
See also: give, someone

give someone enough rope (or plenty of rope)

give a person enough freedom of action to bring about their own downfall.
The fuller form of this expression is the proverb give a man enough rope and he will hang himself , which has been in use in various forms since the mid 17th century.
See also: enough, give, rope, someone
References in periodicals archive ?
PERHAPS the best of the many absurdly long country and western song titles is She Gave Him Enough Rope to Hang Himself and He's Still Out There Swinging.
I could see he was using up a lot of energy moving around the ring and eventually I gave him enough rope to hang himself.
By accident, rather than design, the MPs gave him enough rope to hang himself.
She may even have thought that if she gave him enough rope he would hang himself with it.