I'm missing a metaphor: the one where something initially co-exists well with other things in its environment, but eventually grows so big without intending to that it absorbs or squeezes out everything else around it.
I'm sure it's not a white elephant: that implies that it was foisted on the host and that it's useless as well as resource-sapping. I also don't think it's "a cuckoo in the nest" I take that to mean something which invades the environment with the intention of eventually taking over.
What does one call a co-inhabitant which unintentionally overwhelms its environment?

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 22 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
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I'm missing a metaphor: the one where something initially co-exists well with other things in its environment, but eventually grows so big without intending to that it absorbs or squeezes out everything else around it.

I'm sure it's not a white elephant: that implies that it was foisted on the host and that it's useless as well as resource-sapping. I also don't think it's "a cuckoo in the nest" I take that to mean something which invades the environment with the intention of eventually taking over.
What does one call a co-inhabitant which unintentionally overwhelms its environment?
"Elephant in the living room" is in the ballpark.
Richard Maurer To reply, remove half
Sunnyvale, California of a homonym of a synonym for also.
I'm missing a metaphor: the one where something initially co-exists well with other things in its environment, but eventually grows ... What does one call a co-inhabitant which unintentionally overwhelms its environment? "Elephant in the living room" is in the ballpark.

Yes it is, but it's not exactly what I'm looking for: I think that implies that everyone in the room pretends it's not there it's the "great unspoken".
To be specific, I'm writing of the development of Heathrow airport. When first introduced (1946) it was relatively benign and not entirely unwelcomed, since it occupied a tightly-defined area of previously- undeveloped farmland and brought jobs to the area. Over the past 60 years, though, it's sequentially obliterated and/or blighted everything around it.
It's rather like an adult anorak whose disgusting habits and collection of something-or-other has made his parents' house entirely unliveable.

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 22 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
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On 27 Sep 2004, Richard Maurer wrote

I'm missing a metaphor: the one where something initially co-exists ... environment? "Elephant in the living room" is in the ballpark.

Yes it is, but it's not exactly what I'm looking for: I think that implies that everyone in the room ... It's rather like an adult anorak whose disgusting habits and collection of something-or-other has made his parents' house entirely unliveable.

Perhaps some form of "camel (or camel's nose) in the tent".

rzed
I'm missing a metaphor: the one where something initially co-exists well with other things in its environment, but eventually grows ... the environment with the intention of eventually taking over. What does one call a co-inhabitant which unintentionally overwhelms its environment?

I can't think of anything 'proverbial' offhand (although I have a sense that there should be one 'on the tip of my tongue'), but metaphors of the kind often allude to vegetative or fungal growth: "choking weeds", "creeping vines", "Jack's beanstalk", or the like. A shade-tree that spreads out, killing the lawn? Kudzu?

Odysseus
I'm missing a metaphor: the one where something initially co-exists well with other things in its environment, but eventually grows ... the environment with the intention of eventually taking over. What does one call a co-inhabitant which unintentionally overwhelms its environment?

In British English "A cuckoo in the nest" could be used.

Peter Duncanson
UK (posting from a.e.u)
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I'm missing a metaphor: the one where something initially co-exists well with other things in its environment, but eventually grows ... the environment with the intention of eventually taking over. What does one call a co-inhabitant which unintentionally overwhelms its environment?

Cuckoo in the nest?

John Dean
Oxford
John Dean typed thus:
I'm missing a metaphor: the one where something initially co-exists ... does one call a co-inhabitant which unintentionally overwhelms its environment?

Cuckoo in the nest?

Tee hee. I managed a final check through my reply before I posted the answer he said he didn't want, or that would have made three.

David
==
John Dean typed thus:

Cuckoo in the nest?

Tee hee. I managed a final check through my reply before I posted the answer he said he didn't want, or that would have made three.

Oh **! I missed that.

Peter Duncanson
UK (posting from a.e.u)
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