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.
have someone by the short and curliesor
have someone by the short hairsBRITISH, 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.