between the devil and the deep blue sea


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Related to between the devil and the deep blue sea: between a rock and a hard place

between the devil and the deep blue sea

Facing two equally unpleasant, dangerous, or risky alternatives, when the avoidance of one ensures encountering the harm of the other. I was between the devil and the deep blue sea, for if I didn't take out another loan—and go deeper into debt—I could not pay off the debts I already owed. The police knew with certainty he had drugs in his car, so he became trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea: either lie to the police, or admit that the drugs belonged to him.
See also: and, blue, deep, devil, sea

between the devil and the deep blue sea

mainly BRITISH
If you are between the devil and the deep blue sea, you are in a difficult situation where the two possible courses of action or choices that you can take are equally bad. I can see you're caught between the devil and the deep blue sea — if you support your daughter, your partner will be hurt. Note: The origin of this expression is in shipping, not religion. It is unclear exactly what the `devil' was, but it is thought to have been some kind of seam or plank that was awkward and dangerous to reach, so a sailor who had to make it waterproof was in a very unsafe position, and risked falling into the water.
See also: and, blue, deep, devil, sea

between the devil and the deep blue sea

caught in a dilemma; trapped between two equally dangerous alternatives.
See also: and, blue, deep, devil, sea

between the ˌdevil and the deep blue ˈsea

in a situation where you have to choose between two things that are equally bad: In this situation, the government finds itself caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
See also: and, blue, deep, devil, sea

between the devil and the deep blue sea

Between two equally unacceptable choices.
See also: and, blue, deep, devil, sea
References in periodicals archive ?
Yet it is clear, as this panoramic and deeply researched social history unfolds, that the author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea looms large, like St.
I am a man between the devil and the deep blue sea.
So that French electors will in two weeks be presented with a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea.
But we're between the devil and the deep blue sea with him, because he is rated too high and is not good enough to take on the good ones off levels.
The skeptics may have their doubts, but when a boat sinks at the drop of a dime, the truth may lie somewhere between the devil and the deep blue sea.
IT IS no secret that the provincial press is battling for survival, trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea, the devil being the economic slump and the deep blue sea the internet revolution.