phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Walk a fine line

Posted by Henry on August 06, 2003

In Reply to: A FINE LINE. posted by Marcus on August 06, 2003

: Need to find the origin of this saying. I have looked in every ref book with no luck, it's used constantly but has no ref?

From the archives;

Hi, I'm new here. Can you tell the meaning of "walk a fine line"? I encountered this in a newspaper this morning, and I couldn't find it in the dictionary. Thanks.

It means to steer a risky and difficult course between two policies... to be so near the edge of one that you risk falling into another less desirable one. All of which is a pretty unclear definition, so maybe an example might help.

"With his current policy approach towards Iraq, President Bush walks a fine line between the interests of national security and those of warmongering."

The metaphor's from tightrope walking, I'd guess.

A fine line is a very thin thread, silk or cotton perhaps.