give an inch and they'll take a mile
Make a small concession and they'll take advantage of you. For example, I told her she could borrow the car for one day and she's been gone a week—give an inch! This expression, in slightly different form, was already a proverb in John Heywood's 1546 collection, “Give him an inch and he'll take an ell,” and is so well known it is often shortened (as in the example). The use of mile dates from about 1900.
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But give the Kingdom credit for its sense of mercy: The lashes will be administered only 50 at a time.
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What need to look to right or left when you are swallowing up free mile after mile of dizzying road?The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol|William J. Locke
I take the Extream Bells, and set down the six Changes on them thus.Tintinnalogia, or, the Art of Ringing|Richard Duckworth and Fabian Stedman
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Bacteria, when present in great numbers, give a uniform cloud which cannot be removed by ordinary filtration.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis|James Campbell Todd
Wycliffe translates the Vulgate: “And it as a modir onourid schal meete hym, and as a womman fro virgynyte schal take him.”Solomon and Solomonic Literature|Moncure Daniel Conway