What does the idiom “to put a spoke in one’s wheel” mean and Where does it come from?

Whenever you arc not in accord with another person’s plans projects, you “put a spoke in his wheel” by taking some action that will interfere with or impede his progress.

The expression goes back to the sixteenth century and alluded to the use, by carters, of an extra spoke or bar which could be thrust between the spokes of a wheel so that that wheel would drag and serve as a brake in descending a hill.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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