give (one) enough rope

(redirected from give them 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 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.
See also: and, enough, give, hang, himself, rope

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 also: enough, give, someone

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

give somebody enough ˈrope (and he’ll/she’ll ˈhang himself/herself)

(saying) deliberately give somebody enough freedom for them to make a mistake and get into trouble: The question was vague, giving the candidate enough rope to hang herself.
See also: enough, give, rope, somebody
References in periodicals archive ?
eir strategy, faced with badly behaved musicians will be to see what happens, let them get on with it and give them enough rope to hang themselves, which sounds just about right.
Their strategy when faced with badly behaved musicians will be to see what happens, let them get on with it and give them enough rope to hang themselves, which sounds just about right.
He interviews people, supposedly to learn about another nation's way of life, but also to give them enough rope to hang themselves.
Still, give them enough rope and they'll hang themselves.
He was prepared to wait to give them enough rope etc.
But all we need to do is give them enough rope to hang themselves.
Keep schtum and give them enough rope to hang themselves.
I was always taught to give them enough rope and they will hang themselves.
His approach is to choose subjects to whom he feels morally and intellectually superior (which I suspect is just about everyone) and then give them enough rope not just to hang themselves but to open a rope shop with.