Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia.
an awkward customer
A troublesome person. I don't want Joe to join the club, he's just such an awkward customer.
(as) awkward as a cow on a crutch
Very clumsy or uncoordinated. When my toddler was first learning to walk, she was awkward as a cow on a crutch. He'll never make the basketball team—he's as awkward as a cow on a crutch.
The period between childhood and adulthood, which many find to be the most difficult to navigate emotionally. I always cringe when I look back at the stuff I wrote during my awkward age, so full of angst and self-importance.
A group of individuals within a unit or organization who do not cooperate, accept change, or act in the group's interest, either deliberately or due to incompetence. This awkward squad of senators is causing headaches for both parties.
*awkward as a cow on a crutchand *awkward as a cow on roller skates
very clumsy or off balance. (*Also: as ~.) When Lulu was overweight, she was awkward as a cow on a crutch. Tom will never be a gymnast. He's as awkward as a cow on roller skates!
*bull in a china shop
Prov. a very clumsy creature in a delicate situation. (*Typically: as awkward as ~; like ~.) I never know what to say at a funeral. I feel like a bull in a china shop, trampling on feelings without even meaning to. Lester felt like a bull in a china shop; reaching for an orange, he made several elaborate pyramids of fruit tumble down.
place someone in an awkward position
Fig. to put someone in an embarrassing or delicate situation. Your decision places me in an awkward position. I'm afraid I have put myself in sort of an awkward position.
put someone in an awkward position
to make a situation difficult for someone; to make it difficult for someone to evade or avoid acting. Your demands have put me in an awkward position. I don't know what to do. I'm afraid I've put myself in sort of an awkward position.
bull in a china shop
An extremely clumsy person, as in Her living room, with its delicate furniture and knickknacks, made him feel like a bull in a china shop . The precise origin for this term has been lost; it was first recorded in Frederick Marryat's novel, Jacob Faithful (1834).
the awkward ageadolescence.
the awkward squada squad composed of recruits and soldiers who need further training.
Shortly before his death Robert Burns is reported to have said, ‘Don't let the awkward squad fire over me’. Nowadays, the expression is often used to refer to a group of people who are regarded as tiresome or difficult to deal with.
the ˈawkward agethe period when some young people have difficulties as they approach adult life: ‘Gary seems such a quiet boy.’ ‘Oh, he’s just at that awkward age — he’ll soon grow out of it.’
bull in a china shop
Clumsily destructive. An early written example of the expression appeared in Frederick Marryat's 1834 novel, Jacob Faithful , although the image of a bull wrecking havoc as he wandered among tables and shelves of fine porcelain can be traced a century earlier. The expression can also be found in several European languages, although the animal in question is an elephant. In 1940, an American press agent led a bull through a New York City china shop as a publicity stunt. The bull didn't break anything, but a bystander trying to avoid the bull backed into a table and caused the damage.