phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

"wiggle room"

Posted by ESC on March 08, 2004

In Reply to: "Wiggle room" posted by Ward on March 08, 2004

: In the US, to look for some 'wiggle room' suggests a desire to have some constraints relaxed on specifications or standards -- some more degrees of freedom to perform. What is the origin for the 'wiggle' of this expression?

WIGGLE ROOM - "space to move around; the ability to modify one's position and avoid political embarrassment through flexibility. 'Wiggle room' began its sinuous movement in the late 1970s." Mr. Safire cites the use of the phrase on Sept. 11, 1978, in "Business Week" and, a week later, in "Newsweek." From "Safire's New Political Dictionary" by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993).