let the genie out of the bottle

let the genie out of the bottle

To create, unleash, or do something that creates a huge impact on the public and cannot be stopped or reversed. Now that the genie has been let out of the bottle regarding the government's surveillance policies, public trust has been permanently damaged. I doubt the people who first conceived of the Internet could have known how they'd be letting the genie out of the bottle.
See also: bottle, genie, let, of, out

let the genie out of (or put the genie back in) the bottle

let loose (or bring back under control) an unpredictable force, course of events, etc.
A genie or jinnee in Arabian stories is a spirit that can adopt various forms and take a mischievous or benign hand in human affairs. The genie generally inhabits a lamp (compare with Aladdin's lamp at aladdin) or bottle from which someone can release it by the appropriate words or actions. The Arabic word appears in English in various transliterations; genie derives from French génie (from Latin genius meaning ‘a tutelary spirit’), used by the French translators of The Arabian Nights because it was similar in form and sense to the Arabic word.
2002 Chicago Tribune Keeping the nuclear genie in the bottle has not been easy. India and Pakistan have both developed nuclear weapons in recent years.
See also: bottle, genie, let, of, out

let the ˌgenie out of the ˈbottle

do something that causes a big and permanent change in people’s lives, especially one which might make a situation worse: Once you make carrying guns legal, you let the genie out of the bottle.
In Arabian stories, a genie is a spirit with magical powers, especially one that lives in a bottle or lamp.
See also: bottle, genie, let, of, out
References in periodicals archive ?
constitu Carrickf torch foll pr pbcait o "Th chee we bott Dickson said: "The DUP had the cheek to suggest that we let the genie out of the bottle by voting for the flag - when the reality was they let the genie out of the bottle in terms of the protest.
I hope East Fife chairman Derrick Brown now realises what happens when you let the genie out of the bottle.
Once you've got a database and information like that," he says, "you let the genie out of the bottle.
The willingness of broadcasters who have the platform is there; the technology to bet direct into track tote pools is said to be only a few months distant and betting levels on the Irish meetings could let the genie out of the bottle when it comes to some promoters' attitude to a tie-up.
It's my job to let the genie out of the bottle and bring the benefits of this innovative technology to the greater semiconductor industry.
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