spanner


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throw a spanner in(to) the works

To disrupt, foil, or cause problems to a plan, activity, or project. Primarily heard in UK. We had everything in line for the party, but having the caterer cancel on us at the last minute really threw a spanner in the works! It'll really throw a spanner into the works if the board decides not to increase our funding for this project.
See also: spanner, throw, work

a spanner in the works

Something that disrupts, foils, or causes problems to a plan, activity, or project. Primarily heard in UK. We had everything in line for the party, but having the caterer cancel on us at the last minute really threw a spanner in the works! It'll really put a spanner in the works if the board decides not to increase our funding for this project.
See also: spanner, work

put a spanner in(to) the works

To disrupt, foil, or cause problems to a plan, activity, or project. Primarily heard in UK. We had everything in line for the party, but having the caterer cancel on us at the last minute really put a spanner in the works! It will really put a spanner into the works if the board decides not to increase our funding for this project.
See also: put, spanner, work

spanner

slang A person who is foolish, careless, or incompetent; a tool. ("Spanner" is a British English term for "wrench.") Primarily heard in Ireland. I can't believe I sent that embarrassing email to the entire office. God, I can be such a spanner sometimes! I just don't know why they put that spanner in charge of the project!

throw a spanner in the works

or

put a spanner in the works

BRITISH
COMMON If someone or something throws a spanner in the works or puts a spanner in the works, they cause problems which prevent something from happening in the way that it was planned. If they're suddenly going to change the arrangement, it's going to throw a spanner in the works. It is clear Britain could have put a spanner in the works of the contract. Note: You can also just talk about a spanner in the works, meaning `a problem that prevents something from happening the way that it was planned'. Another possible spanner in the works is the weather, which may prevent us from travelling on the 18th. Note: The usual American expression is throw a wrench into the works or throw a monkey wrench into the works.
See also: spanner, throw, work

a spanner in the works

an event, person, or thing that prevents the smooth or successful implementation of a plan; a drawback or impediment.
A variant, found chiefly in North American English, is a monkey wrench in the works , a monkey wrench being a spanner or wrench with adjustable jaws: to throw a spanner (or a monkey wrench ) into the works is to deliberately wreck someone's plans or activities. In his 1974 novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, Edward Abbey used this as a metaphor for systematic industrial sabotage, and monkey-wrenching is now a colloquial term for such activity.
1997 Spectator Pretty well all the newspapers…are now adversarial in tone, conceiving their basic purpose as throwing spanners in the works almost as a matter of principle.
See also: spanner, work

put/throw a ˈspanner in the works

(British English) (American English throw a (ˈmonkey) ˈwrench in the works) (informal) spoil or prevent the success of somebody’s plan, idea, etc: Let’s get this finished before the boss comes along and throws a spanner in the works.
A spanner or wrench is a metal tool used for fastening things tightly. The works are the moving parts of a machine.
See also: put, spanner, throw, work
References in periodicals archive ?
SRS said the expanded indication from the new study is expected to allow for long-term use of The Spanner in all patients who are not candidates for traditional prostate treatments.
Actually, it still is, and more than once someone has shouted "Spanner!" across a busy pub and been surprised by the response "Are you talking to him or me?"
The oak spanners sometimes fit poorly--or not at all.
Spanner notes that the hackberry might have made AMERICAN FORESTS' biennial National Register of Big Trees several years ago, but a larger tree was discovered before the list went to press.
But Spanner has also led to activism among sadomasochists worldwide.
M2 PHARMA-July 1, 2016-SRS Medical's Spanner Prostate Stent Cleared for CE Mark
Comma says that men are keen as ever to maintain their macho image, with a further 44 per cent preferring to risk injury by putting all their weight on a spanner to move it, and another six per cent kicking it before they ask for help.
So we compared our test sets according to their price per spanner, although this was balanced against other factors, particularly the lab tests.
Limited Tenders are invited for 1)allen key 5 mm qty: 8 no 2)12 point ring spanner 7x8 qty: 4 no 3)12 point ring spanner 10x11 qty: 4 no 4)12 point ring spanner 12x13 qty: 4 no 5)12 point ring spanner 13x14 qty: 4 no 6)12 point ring spanner 17x19 qty: 4 no 7)12 point ring spanner 22x24 qty: 4 no 8)12 point ring spanner 27x30 qty: 4 no 9)12 point ring spanner 32x36 qty: 4 no 10)adj.
M2 PHARMA-June 30, 2016-SRS Medical's Spanner Prostate Stent Approved for CE Mark
Spanner was last seen in the company of a film studio set assistant from the West Midlands 20 years ago.
M2 PHARMA-March 17, 2016-Korea FDA Clears SRS Medical for Use of Spanner Prostate Stent