Idiom: 'get a word in edgewise'


I am not quite clear about the following passage:

Does the underlined part mean: inserts a talk as if cuts in like a knife with its edge foremost (a narrow or difficult attempt) to an on-going conversation?

Thank you in advance.


The underlined portion doesn’t really make sense to me; it is certainly not grammatical.

The underlined part sounds strange to me, too, Haihao.

My interpretation of what the author was trying to say:

Imagine you have an object that is wide and thin. The easiest way to insert the object into an opening would be to aim the thin edge through the opening. Sometimes this is the only way if the opening is very small or narrow. The idiom (‘can’t get a word in edgewise’) transfers this concept to conversation. In other words, there isn’t an opening in the conversation that is big enough for you to insert even one word.

Hi Haihao,

A similar idea is contained in the expression the thin end of the wedge suggesting the pointed end of a triangle. The idea again has a negative flavour hinting that this may be the start of something more serious to follow as in: The Government is proposing to introduce a super casino, which may well lead to a rise in gambling and ultimately to more people getting into debt. This introduction will be, they say, the thin end of the wedge.


Thank you all very much for your interpretations and I have understood the point now for the idiom satisfactorily. :slight_smile: