Toe a fine line

This one was uttered by Julie Tsirkin on MSNBC a few days ago. It is a nice conflation of “toe the line” (adhere to the rules of something) and “walk a fine line between (something)” (to navigate between two sides or positions). One uses one’s toes to walk so perhaps that is where the idioms mixed. By the way, the term “toe the line” comes from track, when the runners in a race line up with their toes placed on the starting line or mark. It began to be used figuratively in the early nineteenth century. Another tip of the hat to Frank King who heard this one and shared it.


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