between a rock and a hard place


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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