fall between two stools


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fall between two stools

To be caught between two things and thus unable to adequately do or accommodate both. Primarily heard in UK. I was excited to start taking night classes after work, but now, without enough time to devote either to school or to my job, I feel like I'm falling between two stools.
See also: fall, stool, two

fall between two stools

Fig. to come somewhere between two possibilities and so fail to meet the requirements of either. The material is not suitable for an academic book or for a popular one. It falls between two stools. He tries to be both teacher and friend, but falls between two stools.
See also: fall, stool, two

fall between two stools

or

be caught between two stools

mainly BRITISH
If someone or something falls between two stools or is caught between two stools, they are in an unsatisfactory situation because they do not belong to either of two groups, or because they are trying to do two different things at once and are failing at both. Young people on waiting lists for youth training fall between two stools. They can't get unemployment benefit, nor can they get the allowance for the scheme they're waiting to get on. Devo's problem as a band has always been that they are caught between the two stools of art and pop.
See also: fall, stool, two

fall between two stools

fail to be or to take one of two satisfactory alternatives. British
This phrase comes from the proverb between two stools one falls to the ground , first referred to in English by the medieval writer John Gower in Confessio Amantis ( c .1390 ).
See also: fall, stool, two

fall between two ˈstools

(British English) not be successful, acceptable, etc. because it is neither one thing nor another: The book falls between two stools. It’s neither a love story nor a crime story.
See also: fall, stool, two

fall between (the) two stools

To fail because of an inability to reconcile or choose between two courses of action.
See also: fall, stool, two
References in periodicals archive ?
An average dual player is going to fall between two stools so it's really an exceptional talent that is going to crack it and I would say Eoin Cadogan (left) could do it.
Privates On Parade seems to fall between two stools, trying hard to be a comedy most of the time while also dealing with Britain's political incursion into Malaysia.
THE concept of the Ryanair Chase is to provide a championship race for horses who fall between two stools, in that the Queen Mother Champion Chase is an inadequate test of stamina and the Gold Cup a bridge too far, but one wonders whether it dilutes competition in the other two contests, writes Dave Edwards.
Mixing the guitar band hallmarks of 90s Madchester and the urban wordplay of The Streets looks good on paper, but instead the Brummie heroes fall between two stools.
Some ``compromise'' models fall between two stools, but Mitsubishi may have struck just about the right balance in its ``best-of-allworlds'' approach.
IT'Squiteeasy to fall between two stools when you play supporting slots for other bands.
The president of the Police Superintendents' Association, Kevin Morris, said he was concerned that investigation of middle-ranking criminals could fall between two stools if an FBI-style organisation was created.