between a rock and a hard place

(redirected from Scylla and Charybdis)
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between a rock and a hard place

 and between the devil and the deep blue sea
Fig. in a very difficult position; facing a hard decision. I couldn't make up my mind. I was caught between a rock and a hard place. He had a dilemma on his hands. He was clearly between the devil and the deep blue sea.
See also: and, hard, place, rock

between a rock and a hard place

having only two very unpleasant choices between the devil and the deep blue sea Schools for problem kids are between a rock and a hard place - they can be sued if children run away and get hurt, but have no power to keep the door locked.
See also: and, hard, place, rock

between a rock and a hard place

if you are between a rock and a hard place, you have to make a difficult decision between two things that are equally unpleasant I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. If I go with Isobel, it'll be much more expensive and if I go with Julie, Isobel probably won't speak to me again.
See also: and, hard, place, rock

between a rock and a hard place

Also, between the devil and the deep blue sea or Scylla and Charybdis . Between two equally difficult or unacceptable choices. For example, Trying to please both my boss and his supervisor puts me between a rock and a hard place . The rock and hard place version is the newest of these synonymous phrases, dating from the early 1900s, and alludes to being caught or crushed between two rocks. The oldest is Scylla and Charybdis, which in Homer's Odyssey signified a monster on a rock (Scylla) and a fatal whirlpool (Charybdis), between which Odysseus had to sail through a narrow passage. It was used figuratively by the Roman writer Virgil and many writers since. The devil in devil and deep blue sea, according to lexicographer Charles Earle Funk, referred to a seam around a ship's hull near the waterline, which, if a sailor was trying to caulk it in heavy seas, would cause him to fall overboard. Others disagree, however, and believe the phrase simply alludes to a choice between hellfire with the devil and drowning in deep waters.
See also: and, hard, place, rock

between a rock and a hard place

mod. in a very difficult position; facing a hard decision. I’m between a rock and a hard place. I don’t know what to do.
See also: and, hard, place, rock

between a rock and a hard place

Confronted with equally unpleasant alternatives and few or no opportunities to evade or circumvent them.
See also: and, hard, place, rock
References in periodicals archive ?
When the Vietnamese communist army invaded Cambodia to 'free' us from the Khmer Rouge, we quickly realized that we were caught between Scylla and Charybdis,'' he said.
We were plunged immediately into the terrors of the whirlpool in the first of the evening's premieres, Michael Cryne's Between Scylla and Charybdis.
Finally, as cities are caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of the new Governmental Accounting Standards Board 45 rules on post employment benefits and seeking good rates of return on pension and investments, leaders will need to tread with caution.
The young author/narrator, by nature of her work as a filmmaker and her marriage to an artist, is in contact with some of the most talented individuals in the country, but is forced at every step to carefully navigate the Scylla and Charybdis of both the artistic and private domains, which happen to be closely entwined.
The water continues rushing over the rock waterslide, slipping between these Sierra versions of Scylla and Charybdis with ease.
At this writing, I find myself in the midst of preparing for yet another jam session with senior management of a life insurer, now that their attention has been drawn to the Scylla and Charybdis of profitable underwriting: acquisition cost and turnaround time.
Up to twenty visitors at a time could lamp-scan Sechas's black-on-white, poster-size, impeccably cartooned scatological narrative of Siegfried's encounters with real people and invented cats: Hermes, his cat guide; Salvador Dali and Jacques Lacan like Scylla and Charybdis at the bedside of a feline Cyclops; Count Zaroff and his modernist sculpture garden; Countess Pornault-Cratesse (the pornocratess whose herd of pigs chases Siegfried and Hermes off a cliff); and Artemis, whose bevy of cat nymphs disguise themselves as Jurassic Pork, trap Siegfried, then threaten him with torture while teasing him to erection.
Peter Davey, like Ulysses tied to the mast of his ship, with his eyes open to all that goes around him, has known how to resist the temptation of Scylla and Charybdis and has escaped unharmed, after his long odyssey, to now reach his Ithaca.
Yet, however gruesome, his impediments were imaginary--angry gods, cyclopes, sirens, Scylla and Charybdis.
Hands proposes an eminently sensible solution to the Scylla and Charybdis of autobiographical fallacy and Barthes' death of the author: she sees Trapnel's activities not as extra-textual elements informing the text but as being part of the text.
Those familiar with Reinhold Niebuhr's way of setting up his opponents will, of course, recognize Herman's attempt to navigate between the proverbial Scylla and Charybdis.
While the numbers game in Asia is as fraught with its own kind of risks as was navigation by ancient mariners of the Strait of Messina between the twin perils of Scylla and Charybdis, clearly, something is happening in Asia.
If you like the sound of people banging drums enormously hard, then I can recommend a group called Paescod, who are sitting, a bit like Scylla and Charybdis, at a narrow entrance everyone has to go through.
Perhaps it is like Odysseus foolishly facing the narrows between Scylla and Charybdis by standing in the front of his boat, dressed in armor and holding two long spears.
Fortunately, there exists already a way to avoid this Scylla and Charybdis.