|Meaning||The person in question will become greedy if shown generosity|
|Original form||For when I gave you an inch, you tooke an ell|
|Coined by||John Heywood|
"Give him an inch and he'll take a mile" is an idiom to mean "the person in question will become greedy if shown generosity". The original form was "For when I gave you an inch, you tooke an ell".
- Give him an inch and he'll take a yard
- Give him an inch and he'll take an ell
- Gie 'im an inch, an he'll tak an ell
- Heywood, John (1546). A dialogue conteinying the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the englishe tongue, compacte in a matter concernyng two maner of mariages, etc. London: Thomas Berthelet. Full text of 1874 reprint
- Concise Oxford English Dictionary (5th edition; 1964). Oxford University Press.
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