- A drop in the bucket
A drop in the bucket means a small and insignificant amount compared to what is needed or desired. It refers to the idea of adding a drop of water to a bucket that is already full or nearly full, which will not make much of a difference in the overall level of the water.
I know you’re trying to save money, but cutting back on your daily coffee won’t make much of a difference. It’s just a drop in the bucket.
Your $10 donation is appreciated, but it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the amount we need to raise for this project.
Increasing our advertising budget by $1000 is only a drop in the bucket for our company’s overall marketing efforts.
Although the government has promised to increase funding for education, the amount allocated is only a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed.
2. Shape up or Ship out
Shape up or ship out means that a person needs to improve their behavior or performance, or else they will be removed from their position or situation. The phrase is often used to warn individuals that they need to change their ways or face negative consequences such as losing their job, being removed from a project, or being excluded from an opportunity.
The boss gave the unproductive team member a choice to either shape up or ship out of the company.
The coach gave the struggling player an ultimatum, telling him to shape up or ship out of the team.
The supervisor told the employee, who repeatedly came late to work, that he needed to shape up or ship out.
The director told the actors who were not taking the rehearsal seriously that they needed to shape up or ship out of the production.