Get a word in edgeways


      • to interrupt or interject
        To struggle to contribute to a conversation because others are talking a lot or not giving you a chance to speak

      • to make one's voice heard
        To try to get a chance to speak and share one's thoughts or opinions in a conversation where others are dominating or monopolizing the discussion

    Examples of Get a word in edgeways

    • During the team meeting, Sarah struggled to get a word in edgeways as her colleagues kept interrupting each other and her ideas.

      The idiom "get a word in edgeways" in this example refers to Sarah's difficulty in contributing her thoughts during the meeting because others were talking over her and interrupting her frequently. The expression suggests that it is hard to enter a conversation where people are already talking and that Sarah was basically trying to find a sliver of space to speak.

    • Every time Miriam tried to speak at the family dinner, her siblings and parents talked over her, making it almost impossible to get a word in edgeways.

      In this example, the phrase "get a word in edgeways" implies that Miriam found it challenging to express herself in a conversation where her family members seemed unwilling to listen to her and preferred to dominate the discussion. It suggests that she had to squeeze her speech into the gaps or crevices of the conversation, as if trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

    • Kate’s boss loved to monologue during team meetings, making it exceedingly difficult for her colleagues, including Kate, to get a word in edgeways.

      This example highlights the difficulty that Kate and her colleagues faced during team meetings while Kate's boss arrogantly dominated the conversation. The expression "get a word in edgeways" emphasizes that Kate's boss's dominance left little scope for other individuals to enter the conversation, and Kate had to wait for the right moments to contribute her ideas.

    • John found it challenging to get a word in edgeways during the discussion, as he was new to the team, and his colleagues seemed to look down on him.

      Here, the notion "get a word in edgeways" implies that John faced difficulties in expressing his thoughts during the conversation due to his colleagues' prejudice against him. It suggests that he had to make a concerted effort to lay away his ideas until a suitable moment arrived when there was enough space to enter the conversation.

    • During the family dinner, Sarah tried desperately to share her story about her recent promotion, but her boisterous cousins kept interrupting her, making it almost impossible for her to "get a word in edgeways."

      This idiom is used to describe the difficulty of joining a conversation or making oneself heard when many other people are already talking. The phrase comes from the image of fitting a narrow rectangle-shaped piece into the edge of a table or surface, where it may be hard to slide in between other objects already occupying space. In Sarah's situation, she found it challenging to contribute her news to the conversation amidst the overwhelming chatter of her raucous relatives.


    The idiom "get a word in edgeways" is used to describe a situation where someone is having difficulty in participating in a conversation because others are talking too much or not giving them a chance to speak. It can also be used to express the desire to be heard and to contribute to a discussion where others are dominating the conversation.

    This idiom can also convey a sense of frustration or annoyance at not being able to speak and share one's thoughts or opinions. It can be used in a light-hearted manner to express a playful competition for speaking time or in a more serious tone to highlight the importance of everyone's voice being heard in a conversation.

    Origin of "Get a word in edgeways"

    The origin of this idiom is not clear, but it is believed to have originated in the late 17th or early 18th century in Britain. The word "edgeways" refers to the edge of a sword, and it is thought that the idiom may have originated from the idea of trying to get a word in between two sharp and pointed edges.

    Another theory suggests that the term "edgeways" may refer to the edge of one's mouth, as in trying to squeeze a word out between one's teeth due to the tightness of the conversation. This metaphorical interpretation could also explain the origin of the idiom.

    Overall, the idiom "get a word in edgeways" is an interesting and vivid way to describe the struggle of participating in a conversation and the desire to make one's voice heard. It has evolved over time to become a commonly used phrase in everyday language.