flounder

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flounder around

to struggle or wallow around. The whole company is just floundering around and getting nowhere. The horse floundered around, trying to get across the soggy pasture.
See also: around, flounder

flounder through something

 
1. Lit. to struggle through something, such as a mire, swamp, etc. The Jeep floundered through the swamp without getting stuck. The horse floundered through the muddy field.
2. Fig. to struggle awkwardly through a difficult situation. We floundered through the performance. I don't know how we did it, but we did it. We just floundered through our presentation, hoping for a lot of questions.
See also: flounder

flat as a pancake

Extremely level, especially too much so. For example, There are no hills; this terrain is flat as a pancake. This simile dates from the 1500s and has survived its contemporary, flat as a flounder. It is sometimes used, either disparagingly or ruefully, to describe a small-breasted woman.
See also: flat, pancake
References in classic literature ?
And so it was that her direct question left him floundering in a sea of embarrassment, for to tell her the truth now would gain him no favor in her eyes, while it certainly would lay him open to the suspicion and distrust of her father should he learn of it.
My lady Bowley,' returned Sir Joseph, floundering now and then, as in the great depth of his observations, 'at this season of the year we should think of--of--ourselves.
In the distance we heard a lion roar, and from far off came the scream of some stricken animal, splashing and floundering in a drinking-place.
At recognition of Skipper's voice, Jerry, floundering in the stiff and crisping sea that sprang up with the easement of the wind, yelped eagerly and yearningly, all his love for his new-found beloved eloquent in his throat.
Remained only the whale, floating and floundering, on the surface of the sea.
His quick eye took in the situation at a glance, and he sprang for us; but we went clear with a mighty shove, and he was left floundering in the water over his head.
By the time we dragged him out of that, his madness had shifted to the belief that he was a great swimmer, and the next moment he was overboard and demonstrating his ability by floundering like a sick porpoise and swallowing much salt water.
The boys made a dash of it for the gangway platform, swimming the fastest strokes they knew, pellmell, floundering and splashing, fright in their faces, clambering out with jumps and surges, any way to get out, lending one another a hand to safety, till all were strung along the gangway and peering down into the water.
But, as all this time he had never left off singing about the bankruptcy of the beautiful maid in respect of truth, and now began not only to croak very feebly, but to kick with great violence as if respiration became a task of difficulty, Frank Cheeryble, without further hesitation, pulled at the shorts and worsteds with such heartiness as to bring him floundering into the room with greater precipitation than he had quite calculated upon.