I hate to be a kicker,
I always long for peace,
But the wheel that does the squeaking,
Is the one that gets the grease.

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
“The Kicker” (c. 1870)

A "kicker" was idiom in the era for a complainer. This is a common citation for the origin of "the squeaky wheel gets the grease," but the existence of such a poem has never been verified. The earliest documented version of the phrase is in the Wall Street Journal (20 May 1910): "The wheel that squeaks the loudest / Is the wheel that gets the grease." The metaphor itself can be found in various versions back to at least the 15th Century.
Added on 30-Jul-20 | Last updated 30-Jul-20
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