a broken reed

a broken reed

a weak or ineffectual person especially one on whose support it is foolish to rely

This expression refers to Isaiah 36 : 6 in which the Assyrian general taunts King Hezekiah of Jerusalem about the latter's supposed ally, the Egyptian pharaoh : 'Lo, thou trusteth in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt'.

Related Idioms and Phrases :

go for broke

risk everything in an all-out effort – informal

on the broo

claiming unemployment benefit - Scottish informal

Broo, also spelt buroo, is a colloquial alteration of bureau, meaning a labour exchange or social security office.

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