get one's foot in the door

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Probably from a practice attributed to door-to-door salesmen of placing a foot in the opening of a prospective customer's door, thereby preventing the person from closing the door until the conclusion of the sales pitch.

Verb[edit]

get one's foot in the door

  1. (idiomatic) To initiate contact or a relationship; to gain access, especially to an entry-level job.
    • 1935, "When You Let the Gamblers In," Milwaukee Journal, 19 Feb., p. 8 (retrieved 10 June 2009):
      And the legislature had better study Texas, before it commits this state to parimutuel betting, thus letting the professional gambler get his foot in the door.
    • 2007, Sara Boyd, "A Formula for Greatness," Washington Post, 4 Feb., p. Y14 (retrieved 10 June 2009):
      But despite his academic credentials, Julian had to fight just to get his foot in the door at most laboratories.

Related terms[edit]