Hello!
Could you explain me the meaning of 'the final straw'? What does it mean?

"Then, he claims, the gangsters began threatening physical violence against anyone who took his product. The final straw came when he was mysteriously denied permission to plug in a portable cold storage unit at any convenient site near the city."
Thank you!
Tim
1 2
Hello! Could you explain me the meaning of 'the final straw'? What does it mean? "Then, he claims, the gangsters ... wasmysteriously denied permission to plug in a portable cold storage unit at anyconvenient site near the city." Thank you! Tim

It means you've taken all the abuse you can stand and will stand for no more. If an American says "Ok thats the final straw" it means keep it up and retaliation will swiftly follow.
Could you explain me the meaning of 'the final straw'? What does it mean? "Then, he claims, the gangsters began ... he was mysteriously denied permission to plug in a portable cold storage unit at any convenient site near the city."

Have you heard of "the straw that broke the camel's back"? Well, that's "the last straw", not "the final straw".
The point of the saying is that anyone can cary or take just so much weight, abuse, etc. If you are given more than you can take, you break or, in the figurate sense as implied in "the last straw", lose control.

The last straw is the one that tips the balance, even if ever so lightly, from equilibrium to one side or the other. It's "more than one can {take / bear / stand}" and spurs one into action.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
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Could you explain me the meaning of 'the final straw'? ... cold storage unit at any convenient site near the city."

Have you heard of "the straw that broke the camel's back"? Well, that's "the last straw", not "the final straw". ... one side or the other. It's "more than one can {take / bear / stand}" and spurs one into action.

Actually, "the final straw" seems to be a very common variation these days (I can hear it in my mind being said with a British accent), but the Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs agrees that "the last straw" is older. Summarizing their entry:
1655 and 1702 - "It's the last feather that breaks the horse's back."
1848 and 1881 - versons with "last straw" breaking the "camel's back"
1902 - Citation uses "was the last straw" and leaves the rest unsaid.

The ODEP doesn't go beyond that era.

Best Donna Richoux
Actually, "the final straw" seems to be a very common variation these days (I can hear it in my mind being said with a British accent), but the Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs agrees that "the last straw" is older.

This being Wimbledon week I hear a lot of "so-and-so beat so-and-so in the final set".
Well, duh.

Mike Barnes
Cheshire, England
Actually, "the final straw" seems to be a very common ... of English Proverbs agrees that "the last straw" is older.

This being Wimbledon week I hear a lot of "so-and-so beat so-and-so in the final set". Well, duh.

"Final" could just be justified if it refers to the fifth set (men) or third set (women). If it refers to the last set played in a match that goes not go to the maximimum possible number of sets then I agree with "Well, duh".

Peter Duncanson
UK (posting from a.u.e)
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goes not go

Edit to taste.

Peter Duncanson
UK (posting from a.u.e)
Actually, "the final straw" seems to be a very common ... of English Proverbs agrees that "the last straw" is older.

This being Wimbledon week I hear a lot of "so-and-so beat so-and-so in the final set". Well, duh.

Well, we are back on the "Where did you find the cordless phone?" topic.
Hello! Could you explain me the meaning of 'the final straw'? What does it mean? "Then, he claims, the gangsters ... he was mysteriously denied permission to plug in a portable cold storage unit at any convenient site near the city."

Isn't in the Bible? I learnt it as "last straw", but "final" is acceptable.

Rob Bannister
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