World Intelligence Glossary





A Fly in the Ointment




A Fly in the Ointment - meaning, metaphor  

'A fly in the ointment' is a metaphor describing a single thing or person that is spoiling a situation that could have been very positive or enjoyable.






The origin of the phrase 'A fly in the ointment'




The phrase 'a fly in the ointment' has a biblical origin:

"Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour." ~ Ecclesiastes

In ancient times, ointment was the substance one was anointed with.



Russian Proverbs

A spoonful of tar spoils a barrel of honey.

Russian proverb