Posted by R. Berg on July 08, 2003
In Reply to: Throw a spanner in the works posted by SFC on July 08, 2003
: When he found out that he couldn't persuade his competitor to drop out of the game, he decided
: to throw a spanner in the works.
: Here, what does "to throw a spanner in the works" mean?
To sabotage a process, by analogy with jamming the moving parts of a machine by throwing a tool into it. The U.S. expression is "throw a monkey wrench in the works." British "spanner" = American "wrench."