In a document I am writing I want to use some imagery to attack the logic of inverting a particular technical procedure. The procedure makes sense in its original sense because it injects a set of concepts into something larger. However the inverse is like...

  • fitting a mountain through the needle of an eye?
  • fitting a boulder in a teacup?
  • fitting Mount Fuji through the Strait of Gibraltar?
  • hopefully anything better?

2 Answers 2


If the notion is specifically that something is too big to fit, the established idiom is a camel through the eye of a needle (or a needle’s eye).

If the notion is more generically that the thing doesn't fit (be it because of size, shape, personality, or some other trait), a similar and equally established idiom is (driving) a round peg into a square hole.

The phrases you give all show the meaning quite clearly and are easily understandable, but none of them is (to my knowledge, at least) an established idiom in English.


We do have the idiom in English (with minor variations), to put a quart into a pint pot. Not very glamorous, but at least it conveys your basic concept.

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