These three micro-dictations all contain the expression ‘to get a word in edgeways’. Complete each exercise, and then try to guess the meaning/usage of the expression from the context.

Dictation #1

Accent: Ireland

It’s be in him – it’s get a .
It’s frustrating to be in meeting with him – it’s to get a word in .

Dictation #2

Accent: Australia

I them some pitch, couldn’t edgeways.
I to give them some on their pitch, I couldn’t get a in edgeways.

…feedback on their pitch

A pitch is a speech or presentation with which you are attempting to convince someone to purchase or invest in something. e.g. I listened to his pitch but I wasn’t very impressed. We can also use this as a verb, to pitch something to someone, e.g. I pitched my idea to her and she seemed very keen to find out more.

Dictation #3

Accent: Scotland

his contribution . It a bit hard to sometimes.
We value his contribution discussions. It just be a bit hard to a word in sometimes.

to get a word in edgeways: meaning and explanation

to get a word in edgeways = to have an opportunity to speak or contribute to a discussion.

This idiom is almost always used in a negative way, to describe situations in which it is hard or impossible to speak because someone else is dominating the conversation. Because they speak so much or so constantly, it is difficult or impossible for others to speak or contribute. e.g. I wanted to ask a question but it was just impossible to get a word in edgeways.

Photo by Guzmán Barquín on Unsplash

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