thin edge of the wedge

the thin edge of the wedge

Some minor change or development that instigates or foreshadows something much larger or more impactful. Typically used in reference to that which will lead to an unfortunate, undesirable, or catastrophic outcome. These new driverless cars are just the thin edge of the wedge, if you ask me—pretty soon, every facet of our lives will be controlled by robots and automation! If we allow them to get a foothold in this territory, it could be the thin edge of the wedge that sees them stealing huge portions of our market share.
See also: edge, of, thin, wedge

thin edge of the wedge

A minor change that begins a major development, especially an undesirable one. For example, First they asked me to postpone my vacation for a week, and then for a month; it's the thin edge of the wedge and pretty soon it'll be a year . This term alludes to the narrow wedge inserted into a log for splitting wood. [Mid-1800s]
See also: edge, of, thin, wedge

thin edge of the wedge, the

An unimportant action that is the start of a major development, often an undesirable one. This expression alludes to the pointed metal wedge inserted into a log for splitting wood. The expression began to be used figuratively in the nineteenth century. Anthony Trollope used it several times in Dr. Thorne (1858), and it was commonplace by the end of the century. Richard Blackmore had it in The Remarkable History of Sir Thomas Upmore (1884): “My father kept calling him . . . the thin edge of the wedge, and telling dear mother . . . not to let him in.”
See also: edge, of, thin
References in classic literature ?
Eager objected, saying that here was the thin edge of the wedge, and one must guard against imposition.
It should be called in by the Welsh Government and thoroughly scrutinised, otherwise this will be the thin edge of the wedge, leaving our communities wide open to other rapacious and cynical developments which do nothing to strengthen and benefit our city and its residents.
This is the thin edge of the wedge which is likely to continue."
Many rural organisations fear NRW's ban on pheasant shooting on public land is the thin edge of the wedge. In reality, most shooting in Wales takes place on private land and an Act of Parliament would be required to curtail the sport.
But to be sustainable as a restaurant it should use the crabs (and it's Asia's 50 Best recognition) as the thin edge of the wedge in introducing the world to Sri Lankan cuisine, rather than offering drearily familiar fillers on the bottom half of the menu.
All this is just the thin edge of the wedge. The Saudi-led war on Yemen is the latest manifestation of Arab interventionism, a trend that has been gaining momentum in the Middle East since the Saudi intervention in Bahrain during the Arab uprisings.
"We are getting the thin edge of the wedge and being penalised.
Developers and speculators are waiting to move in, so whatever the decision is, let's hope that from Castle Hill one does not see only new developments and that this is not the thin edge of the wedge or detrimental to our 'Summer Wine' country.
Even at the thin edge of the wedge, the Pacman will take home PS50million, Mayweather a smoking PS78m.
It would, in my view, be the thin edge of the wedge to allow people to cash in on this kind of asset to the detriment of green space.
And the fear was that, if approved, the application could prove the "thin edge of the wedge".
Hughes has enjoyed success at Falkirk and in his short spell at Livingston but suffered the thin edge of the wedge at his beloved Hibs and more recently at Hartlepool.
"Let's see if the company are prepared to step back from the brink - or will they try to impose further conditions?" Molly Bogle added: "The thin edge of the wedge springs to mind."
But any move towards state regulation would be the thin edge of the wedge.