I'm trying to remember or think a new of s phrase to describe somebody who both forges a path a head of them, trail blazing in a way, but does so at the consequences of others.

This isn't just the classic line from Jurrasic park:

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.

Which is both trail blazing and separately oblivious to the eventual consequences, rather than the trail blazing process itself being the cause of consequences. Like if the main issue at Jurrasic was making indigenous species extinct and not even bothering to check if that would happen before hand.

But I'm trying to articulate a meaning that better fits this sort of sentence:

They're (were a/an) ______, a bright star burning anybody in their path to success

Is there a phrase closer to that? I've considered:

They cut a wide swath(e), a bright star burning anybody in their path to success

But that doesn't fit exactly, nor does just trail blazing. The "burning anybody in their path" doesn't need to be drastic, but it's the careless/callousness I'm trying to get across. The person the phrase is for may even be aware of what they're doing has negative consequences, just without caring what those consequences are. Bulldozing was mentioned in comments, but that only fits for a slow deliberate action.

Am I thinking of a phrase that exists? If so what is it?


2 Answers 2


A very obvious metaphor:

Their scheme was being railroaded through.

railroad [verb] [transitive]


1b: to push through hastily or without due consideration


The active trampling of those in the way

railroad [verb]:

compel by coercion, threats, or crude means; synonyms: dragoon, sandbag

is mentioned by Dictionary.com.

and the expression 'railroad/ed through'

  • Unfortunately, this scheme is being railroaded through Westminster under the pretext of immigration control.

by Cambridge Dictionary

To fit with OP's example, we can use the verbo-nominal multi word verb (and avoid a mixed metaphor):

They're railroading their way through, blasting aside anybody in their path to success.

  • 1
    They're (were a/an) railroader doesn't work though, unless they're working on a train. Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 17:17
  • cf 'He was telescoping Saturn.' Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 17:24
  • As nouns, I'd say railroad is a much more typically American usage than it is British, and looking at the AmE Google Books corpus it's maybe 100 times more common than the noun ramrod, whereas in the BrE corpus, a railroad is only about 4-5 times more common than a ramrod. In Britain we seem to be just as happy to use the verb form to railroad as Americans, but it seems that only Americans ever talk about ramrodding some new law through the legislature, even though in other contexts they don't seem to use that term so much. Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 17:36

They bulldozed a path/their way through the objections


Definition of bulldoze one's way

to move forward while forcing other people to move out of the way

They rudely bulldozed their way through the crowd.

—often used figuratively

He bulldozed his way to the top without regard for people along the way.

bulldoze verb

transitive verb

1: to coerce or restrain by threats : BULLY

2: to move, clear, gouge out, or level off by pushing with or as if with a bulldozer.

3: to force insensitively or ruthlessly

intransitive verb

1: to operate a bulldozer

2: to force one's way like a bulldozer

  • 1
    The OP rejected bulldozing a path when I proposed it in my comment.
    – DjinTonic
    Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 14:50
  • I didn't see that - we might have crossposted. However, I think we can both agree that Bulldozing [...] only fits for a slow deliberate action is not so.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 20:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.