move the yardsticks

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The phrase originates from American football, where every ten yards of forward progress by the offense moves the yardsticks ahead to measure the next ten yards of progress.


move the yardsticks ‎(third-person singular simple present moves the yardsticks, present participle moving the yardsticks, simple past and past participle moved the yardsticks)

  1. (US football) To move the chains
  2. (idiomatic) To make progress, as used in political and corporate venues to express proactive actions.

See also[edit]