squeak

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the squeaking wheel gets the grease

The people who complain or protest the loudest are the ones who receive the most attention from others. My sister makes a point of writing letters of complaint to businesses whenever she has an issue with their service, and nine times out of ten, she's rewarded with some kind of discount or gift. I guess it's true, the squeaking wheel gets the grease.
See also: get, grease, squeak, wheel

squeeze (someone or something) until the pips squeak

To use force or pressure to exploit someone for as much money, information, manpower, etc., as someone has or is able to give. Primarily heard in UK. We were hoping to start our own business, but those loan sharks squeezed us until the pips squeaked with insanely high interest rates. Interrogators are planning to squeeze the captured spy until the pips squeak for all the information he may have about the enemy's plans.
See also: pip, squeak, squeeze, until

narrow squeak

1. A victory or success that very nearly ended in failure. After his narrow squeak at the polls, the prime minister must find a way to instill confidence in the country at large once again. After a narrow squeak, they have managed to hold onto their league championship.
2. A situation in which danger or problems are barely avoided. We had just cleaned and tidied the fridge before the health inspector arrived. What a narrow squeak! The expedition had a very narrow squeak when an avalanche tore through the path from which they had just come.
See also: narrow, squeak

squeak through

1. To manage to pass or move through something with great difficulty due to a lack of space. I had to squeak through a huge group of in order to get off the train. I wasn't sure I had enough room to get the car through the opening, but I managed to squeak through.
2. To manage accomplish something by very narrowly overcoming some difficulty. I thought for sure I had failed the exam, but I managed to squeak through with a D. Their championship dreams looked to be dashed, but a last-minute field goal saw the Raiders squeak through to a spot in the Super Bowl.
See also: squeak, through

squeak by

1. To manage to pass or move by someone or something with great difficulty due to a lack of space. I had to squeak by these two very large gentlemen in order to get off the train. I wasn't sure I had enough room to get the car through the opening, but I managed to squeak by.
2. To manage accomplish something by very narrowly overcoming some difficulty. I thought for sure I had failed the exam, but I managed to squeak by with a D. Their championship dreams looked to be dashed, but a last-minute field goal saw the Raiders squeak by into a spot at the Super Bowl.
3. To manage to survive or subsist within a very narrow margin. This city is so expensive—I have to work two jobs just to squeak by each month. We grow just enough food for our family to squeak by.
See also: by, squeak

narrow squeak

Fig. a success almost not achieved; a lucky or marginal success; a problem almost not surmounted. That was a narrow squeak. I don't know how I survived. Another narrow squeak like that and I'll give up.
See also: narrow, squeak

squeak by

 (someone or something)
1. Fig. to manage just to squeeze past someone or something. I squeaked by the fat man in the hallway only to find myself blocked by another. I just barely squeaked by.
2. Fig. to manage just to get past a barrier represented by a person or thing, such as a difficult teacher or an examination. Judy just squeaked by Professor Smith, who has a reputation for flunking students. I took the test and just squeaked by.
See also: by, squeak

squeak something through

Fig. to manage just to get something accepted or approved. I just managed to squeak the proposal through. Tom squeaked the application through at the last minute.
See also: squeak, through

squeak through

 (something)
1. Fig. to manage just to squeeze through an opening. The child squeaked through the opening and escaped. Sally squeaked through and got away.
2. Fig. to manage just to get past a barrier, such as an examination or interview. (Fig. on {2}.) Sally just barely squeaked through the interview, but she got the job. I wasn't too alert and I just squeaked through.
See also: squeak, through

squeaking wheel gets the oil

 and squeaky wheel gets the oil
Prov. People who complain the most will get attention or what they want. If you don't get good service at the hotel, make sure to tell the manager that you're dissatisfied. The squeaking wheel gets the oil.
See also: get, oil, squeak, wheel

squeak by

Also, squeak through. Manage barely to pass, win, survive, or the like, as in They are just squeaking by on their income, or He squeaked through the driver's test. This idiom transfers squeak in the sense of "barely emit a sound" to "narrowly manage something." [First half of 1900s] Also see squeeze through.
See also: by, squeak

squeeze someone until the pips squeak

extract the maximum amount of money from someone. British
This expression alludes to a speech made in 1918 by the British politician Sir Eric Geddes on the subject of Germany's payment of indemnities after World War I: ‘The Germans…are going to pay every penny; they are going to be squeezed as a lemon is squeezed—until the pips squeak’. More recently, in the 1970s, the Labour Chancellor Denis Healey declared his intention to squeeze the rich until the pips squeaked.

a narrow eˈscape/ˈsqueak

a situation where somebody only just avoids injury, danger or failure: We had a narrow escape on the way here. The wind blew a tree down just in front of us. We could have been killed.
See also: escape, narrow, squeak

squeak by

v.
To manage barely to pass, win, or survive someone or something: I squeaked by the first round but won the rest of my matches easily. My parents squeaked by on a limited income.
See also: by, squeak

squeak through

v.
To manage barely to pass, win, or survive something: The student squeaked through the course with a D minus.
See also: squeak, through

narrow squeak

n. a success almost not achieved; a lucky or marginal success; a problem almost not surmounted. That was a narrow squeak. I don’t know how I survived.
See also: narrow, squeak