phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Fine lines

Posted by Henry on September 21, 2004

In Reply to: There's a fine line posted by David FG on September 21, 2004

: : I was hoping that somebody might have the meaning and origin of the phrase, 'There's a fine line'

: 'There's a fine line between...' means that the two things mentioned are very close. For example, there's a fine line between genius and madness, or love and hate.

: Not much (i.e it is a fine line - as in a thin boundary) lies between them.

These fine lines may be the origin of the phrase, or at least the source of its popularity.

Great wits are sure to madness near alli'd
And thin partitions do their bounds divide.

John Dryden 1631-1700 in Alexander's Feast 1.163