shorten the front line


shorten the front line
   1. to retreat under pressure
   Soldiers and their apologists thus explain a defeat by implying that a salient is being voluntarily abandoned:
    He was painfully familiar with the Fuehrer's attitude to 'shortening the front' under enemy pressure. (A. Clark, 1995)
   2. to lose weight
   Punning on the military euphemism (above) and usually of men.

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

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