Someone asks how to grow a chicken, and suddenly some guy just drops a chicken already grown up.

I need to find an algorithm to solve a given problem, but I don't want the code itself, just a way to do it.

Considering these scenarios, is there a slang term or phrase not for "giving something already made", but for "giving the way to do it"?


  • You want the recipe instead of the meal. Apr 28 '15 at 17:29
  • 4
    We also say ""Teaching a man to fish is better than giving him a fish".
    – TRomano
    Apr 28 '15 at 17:31
  • 1
    gimme teh codez
    – Robusto
    Apr 28 '15 at 17:33
  • @Robusto hahaha that was good mate! Apr 28 '15 at 17:45
  • Thanks for the answers!!! That was exactly what i was looking for. Apr 28 '15 at 17:45

Tim's comment is a great idiom. I believe the full original proverb is:

Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime.

Another option that is slang but perhaps a bit more useful for many cases:

I can't figure out how to code this. Could you point me in the right direction?

Essentially, "point me in the right direction" indicates you want a path to the answer but not the answer itself.

  • 1
    Jinx! I commented this at the same time as your answer! :-) Apr 28 '15 at 19:15

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