have (one) by the short and curlies

(redirected from have them by the short and curlies)

have (one) by the short and curlies

To have complete control or dominance over someone; to have someone at one's mercy. "The short and curlies" refers to the hairs on one's neck, despite popular misconceptions. With all that evidence against you, I'd say the police have you by the short and curlies. Sometimes, I think Mark's wife has him by the short and curlies.
See also: and, by, curly, have, short

have someone by the short and curlies

or

have someone by the short hairs

BRITISH, INFORMAL, RUDE
If someone has you by the short and curlies or by the short hairs, they have you completely in their power. The union's chief negotiator last night said: `We had the company by the short and curlies.' The managers knew they had us by the short hairs. Note: In this expression, `short and curlies' may refer to a person's pubic hair, to hair on the back of their neck, or to the hair in their beard.
See also: and, by, curly, have, short, someone
Full browser ?