be like painting the Forth Bridge

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be like painting the Forth Bridge

To be such an involved or time-consuming improvement process that it never truly ends. The phrase refers to Edinburgh's Forth Bridge, which once required constant upkeep. Primarily heard in UK. Remodeling our house was like painting the Forth Bridge—once we saw how nice one room looked, we had to redo another!
See also: bridge, forth, like, painting
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

paint the Forth Bridge

used to indicate that a task can never be completed.
The steel structure of the Forth Railway Bridge in Scotland has required continuous repainting: it is so long that once the painters reach one end, they have to begin again at the other.
See also: bridge, forth, paint
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

be like painting the Forth ˈBridge

(British English) if a job is like painting the Forth Bridge, it is so big that by the time you get to the end you have to start at the beginning again: Cleaning a house this size is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge. As soon as I’ve finished it’s time to start again!
The Forth Bridge is a very big bridge over the river Forth in Edinburgh.
See also: bridge, forth, like, painting
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
''Like painting the Forth Bridge" is an expression of an endless and repetitive task.
"It's like painting the Forth Bridge," I remarked to no-one in particular.
The phrase "like painting the Forth Bridge" came into being because of the task of painting the bridge in Scotland, which would start again as soon as the workmen reached the end.
Rewriting the tax code is like painting the Forth Bridge.