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slippery slope

A situation in which some behavior or action will eventually lead to a worse form of the same behavior or action, or a disastrous outcome. Eating that piece of cake is a slippery slope that could lead to you completely abandoning your diet. Verbal abuse is often a slippery slope that leads to physical abuse.
See also: slippery, slope

be as slippery as an eel

To be devious, scheming, and untrustworthy—and difficult to apprehend. Of course that guy took everyone's money and left town—he's as slippery as an eel!
See also: eel, slippery

on a slippery slope

In a situation in which some behavior or action will eventually lead to a worse form of the same behavior or action. We've been on a slippery slope of borrowing more money to pay off the debts we already owe. Activists fear that this latest legislation will put us on a slippery slope to stifling free speech.
See also: on, slippery, slope

*slippery as an eel

devious and untrustworthy, but impossible to catch. (*Also: as ~.) Don't sign a lease with that landlord; I think he's as slippery as an eel. The con artist was slippery as an eel. Although he defrauded many people, he never went to prison.
See also: eel, slippery

slippery customer

1. Fig. a clever and deceitful customer. Watch out for that guy with the big padded coat. He may snatch something. He's a real slippery customer.
2. Fig. a slippery creature. This little fish is a slippery customer. Get me something to scoop it back into its bowl.
See also: customer, slippery

slippery slope

a dangerous pathway or route to follow; a route that leads to trouble. The matter of euthanasia is a slippery slope with both legal and moral considerations.
See also: slippery, slope

slippery as an eel

Elusive, devious, as in When it comes to talking about his investments, Jim's slippery as an eel. This simile, first recorded about 1412, alludes to the eel's skin, which has tiny scales and is quite slippery when wet.
See also: eel, slippery

slippery slope

A dangerous course, one that leads easily to catastrophe, as in He's on a slippery slope, compromising his values to please both the bosses and the union . This metaphoric expression alludes to traversing a slick hillside, in constant danger of falling. [Mid-1900s]
See also: slippery, slope

slippery as an eel

1. If someone is as slippery as an eel, they are difficult to catch or take hold of. When his opponent is on the attack, he is as slippery as an eel.
2. If someone is as slippery as an eel, they are clever and able to think quickly, but you cannot trust them. He was as clever as a fox and as slippery as an eel. Note: You can also describe someone as a slippery eel. He himself admits that he is regarded as a slippery eel — a man who constantly changes his mind.
See also: eel, slippery

a slippery slope

COMMON A slippery slope is a course of action which is likely to lead to failure or serious trouble. It's a slippery slope. You give in to one demand and soon find that you're doing exactly what they want. The company started down the slippery slope of believing that they knew better than the customer, with the inevitable disastrous results. Note: You can also say that someone is on a slippery slope or on the slippery slope. These young people may already be on the slippery slope to criminality.
See also: slippery, slope

slippery slope

an idea or course of action which will lead inevitably to something unacceptable, wrong, or disastrous.
1998 Spectator Those of us who feared that devolution would not assuage nationalist sentiment but turn out to be the slippery slope to separatism have a good chance of being proved right.
See also: slippery, slope

(as) slippery as an ˈeel

(informal) dishonest and good at not answering questions, etc: The man the police want to talk to is slippery as an eel, and has so far escaped arrest. OPPOSITE: (as) straight as a die (2)
See also: eel, slippery

the slippery ˈslope

a situation or way of behaving that could quickly lead to danger, disaster, failure, etc: Starting with shoplifting, he was soon on the slippery slope towards a life of crime.
See also: slippery, slope
References in periodicals archive ?
The upshot of these efforts is a 5% improvement in overall aerodynamics that Honda claims makes the Odyssey the slipperiest minivan in its class.
the slipperiest stones, take on more water, go home,
Certainly some of the slipperiest slopes facing scholars of the Middle East are the roles played by ethnicity and religion in the region's modern history and politics.
For documentation students, this can be the slipperiest of concepts because it is so difficult to judge a potential user's level of computer expertise.
If passion counts for anything in modern rugby, Clive Woodward's injury-ravaged England may find the fourth of their five steps to the 2003 Grand Slam the slipperiest of all.
This is the slipperiest slope I have seen worried about in some time: the line from Giles to Bush v.
Nader is at his slipperiest on the issue of whether his campaign tipped the election to George W.
a) The slipperiest floors were those where a seal coat was used to produce a hygienic surface but ineffective surface texture resulted
Perhaps the slipperiest term of the moment is portal.
Despite these findings, one of slipperiest areas in looking at these issues is to view our culture's shaping of socially acceptable sexual constructs.
This time, the deciphered DNA belongs to Staphylococcus aureus, one of the slipperiest infectious organisms to race through a hospital ward.
Even the slipperiest of eels aren't beyond being hooked and beaten against the side of the boat.
Yes, the "Feel the Sleazestar" round, where our slipperiest MPs got to wear blindfolds and feel someone up like Bruce Grobbelaar, would work and, yes, the "Quick-Fire" one would also fit - as we gave the guests 60 seconds to try and shift the blame from themselves by turning on their fellow panellists and sacking each other.
is built-in to ethnic [and 'racial'] nationalism" (1994:87, italics added; see also Tilly 1998:72) -- and between impermeable borders that signify ineradicable demonizations and extermination there is only the shortest and slipperiest of slopes.
Here, manhood appears as the slipperiest of cultural constructions, measured in relation to others, prone to assume different forms and expressions in different locales.