give (one) enough rope(redirected from give 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.
Give someone enough rope and he'll hang himself
. Prov. If you give someone that you suspect of bad behavior the freedom to behave badly, eventually he or she will be caught and punished. Jill: I think Matilda's been stealing things out of my desk. Should I tell the boss? Jane: No; give her enough rope and she'll hang herself. One of these days she'll steal something important, the boss will find out for himself, and he'll fire her.
enough rope, give someone
Allow someone to continue on a course and then suffer its consequences. For example, The auditor knew something was wrong but decided to give the chief accountant enough rope . This expression, a shortening of enough rope to hang oneself, was already proverbial in John Ray's English Proverbs (1678).
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.
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.