in a fix(redirected from in a pretty pickle)
*in a fix
Fig. in a bad situation. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~.) I really got myself into a fix. I owe a lot of money on my taxes. John is in a fix because he lost his wallet. John got into a fix.
in a fix
Also, in a pickle or spot . In a difficult or embarrassing situation, in a dilemma. For example, I was really in a fix when I missed the plane, or Lost and out of gas-how did we get in such a pickle? or John had lost all his money in the crap game-now he was in a spot. The first of these colloquial usages dates from the early 1800s; pickle in the sense of a mess or quandary, sometimes put as in a pretty pickle, dates from the 1500s; spot, also put as in a bad spot or tough spot , dates from the early 1900s. Also see in a bind; in deep, def. 2; in the soup; in trouble; on the spot.
in a fixINFORMAL
If someone is in a fix, they are in a difficult or dangerous situation. He kept turning to me whenever he was in a fix and of course I'd help him out. The government is in a fix over access to the countryside.