The straw that broke the camel’s back. This idiom goes back to the time of Charles Dickens. He used a version of this phrase in his book ‘Dombey and Son’. However, there was an older phrase, “tis the last feather that breaks the horse’s back”, that he might have borrowed.
Either way, this is a phrase which has come to describe something which seems small and unimportant, that creates a big reaction. Normally a situation will have been building for a long time and this is the thing which took it too far.
Underneath the picture is a clip from Family Guy where Lois snaps due to a straw that breaks the camel’s back. Other examples might include;
“Steve gave up alcohol last week, that last hangover was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
“Tina had to mention something to her boss, this last incident was the straw that broke the camels back.”
“Spilling that cup of coffee was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Kappu Education Blogger and Researcher