As the last straw breaks the laden camel’s back

Last/Final straw – in a series of calamities, the final (perhaps small) blow which makes matters insupportable
A quotation from chapter 2 of Charles Dickens’ Dombey and Son (1848): ‘As the last straw breaks the laden camel’s back, this piece of underground information crushed the sinking spirits of Mr Dombey’. This colourful variant of the older ‘last feather that breaks the horse’s back’ is now proverbial as ‘it is the [last] straw that breaks the camel’s back’. The reference is to the carrying of loads by animals.



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