The straw that breaks the camel’s back

the last in a series of unpleasant events that finally makes you feel that you cannot continue to accept a bad situation:

Losing my job was bad enough, but being evicted was the final straw.
She’s always been rude to me, but it was the last straw when she started insulting my mother.

Cambridge Dictionary

The English expression for the Dutch saying

“De druppel die de emmer doet overlopen” is “The straw that breaks the camel’s back.” 

This phrase is used to describe the final small incident or event that, when added to a series of previous issues, leads to a person reaching their breaking point or a situation becoming intolerable.

The English equivalent expression for the Dutch saying

“de druppel die de emmer doet overlopen” is

the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Both phrases convey the idea that a seemingly small or insignificant event, the final drop or straw, leads to a larger, often negative, consequence or reaction.

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“The straw that breaks the camel’s back” is a popular idiom that is used to describe a situation where a small or seemingly insignificant event or factor causes a larger, more significant outcome or consequence. The key points of this idiom can be summarized as follows:

  1. Cumulative effect: The idiom implies that there is a cumulative effect of small, often unnoticed events or factors that gradually build up over time, and eventually lead to a tipping point or a breaking point.

  2. Overload: The camel’s back represents a threshold or limit beyond which a burden or load becomes too heavy to bear. The idiom suggests that the cumulative effect of smaller burdens becomes overwhelming and causes the final, decisive event or factor to trigger a negative outcome.

  3. Unpredictability: The triggering event or factor is often unexpected or seemingly minor, and may not be directly proportional to the overall burden or load. It could be a seemingly insignificant event that, in combination with the existing burdens, causes a sudden and unexpected collapse or failure.

  4. Context-dependent: The idiom is used in various contexts, including personal, social, political, and economic situations. It can refer to a wide range of scenarios, such as stress, pressure, responsibilities, problems, or challenges, where a seemingly small event or factor leads to a significant outcome.

  5. Warning: The idiom serves as a cautionary reminder that it is important to pay attention to and manage the cumulative effects of small events or factors, as they can have a significant impact in the long run. It underscores the idea that seemingly minor issues should not be ignored, as they may eventually contribute to a larger problem.

In summary, “the straw that breaks the camel’s back” conveys the idea of a small event or factor causing a significant outcome due to the cumulative effect of smaller burdens or loads. It emphasizes the importance of being mindful of seemingly minor issues and managing them to prevent negative consequences.

The last in a series of unpleasant events which makes one feel that they cannot continue and must accept a bad situation.

1 ‘Post Office Scandal- The Tour’. BBC Breakfast – Nick Wallis and Tony Downey. Tour details below

2 “Can’t Believe This Is True” | Will Mellor Shares His Experience Of Playing Horizon Scandal Victim


8 jan 2024

The wrongful convictions of hundreds of subpostmasters due to faulty digital accounting software have been described as the most widespread miscarriage of justice in UK history.

The scandal has recently come back into the spotlight following ITV’s four-part drama Mr Bates vs The Post Office.

Actor Will Mellor tells Ian Collins what his reaction was when he first read the script.

“I started reading it and just kept putting it down and going, I can’t believe this is true.”

3 Instant Accomplice: Wife vs. Husband Charity Gifts Prank

22 sep. 2012

What would you do if your significant other whipped out $200 from her wallet and gave it to the nuns? They say charity begins at home, but the husbands are STUNNED when their wives pull out a large wad of cash to put into the nuns’ collection tin at the mall! One husband goes so far as to take the money back out of the hands of the nun!!! Hilarious!!!
A presentation of JustForLaughsTV, the official Just For Laughs Gags YouTube channel. Home of the funniest, greatest, most amazing, most hilarious, win filled, comedy galore, hidden camera pranks in the world!

Current Page

As Clear as Mud

The devil’s advocate

Struggling like a devil

A bridge too far

Slip through the