draw the short straw

draw the short straw

To obtain the least favorable, desirable, or fortunate outcome in a given selection. ("Drawing straws" is a technique for deciding something at random. The act of drawing straws does not have to occur for this phrase to be used.) I drew the short straw when it came to cleaning up after our shift last night. Our team drew the short straw and had to come in over the weekend to work on the revised proposal.
See also: draw, short, straw

draw the short straw

mainly BRITISH
If you draw the short straw, you are chosen from a number of people to do a task that nobody wants to do. I drew the short straw and had to take twenty kids to the park. Note: Other verbs such as get and pick are sometimes used instead of draw. Eales got the short straw and was in goal. Note: This expression comes from the practice of using pieces of straw to draw lots. One person holds several pieces of straw in their hand with the ends poking out. Each person in the group takes a piece of straw and the person with the shortest piece loses.
See also: draw, short, straw

draw the short straw

be the unluckiest of a group of people, especially in being chosen to perform an unpleasant task.
One method of drawing lots involves holding several straws of varying lengths with one end concealed in your hand and then inviting other members of the group to take one each.
See also: draw, short, straw

ˌdraw the short ˈstraw

(British English) (American English get the ˌshort end of the ˈstick) be the person in a group who is chosen or forced to do something unpleasant that nobody wants to do: You’ve drawn the short straw, I’m afraid. You’re going to have to work on New Year’s Day.
See also: draw, short, straw
References in periodicals archive ?
Charles and Camilla draw the short straw for the annual show, hosted by John Bishop.
Morgan was unlucky to draw the short straw at Twickenham and I know players from both sides hope he recovers as soon as possible.
With seven-out-of-10 women with dependent children now working, mums still draw the short straw in this ludicrous and disruptive stop-go-stop arrangement.
The Under 13s, who have won 16 of their 21 games this season, were the team to draw the short straw.
And after each round there's a bonus puzzle with tasks like racing hotdogs across a grill, firing raspberry sauce on to ice-cream cone targets, or - if you draw the short straw - cleaning the toilets.
Worcester won 21-19 but Saints were saved when Harlequins also lost to draw the short straw.
Cheap airlines always seem to draw the short straw when it comes to allocating landing slots.
So we can only presume that some organisations who request the presence of a member of the Royal Family at a special event simply draw the short straw, get allocated the Duke and then do not have the courage to decline the offer.
The semi-finals will then be down to the favorites: the Netherlands will draw the short straw against the Brazilians, the Italians will beat Argentina.