jell

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like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall

AMERICAN
If something is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall, it is impossible or extremely difficult. Jell-O is a trademark. Trying to describe the party's policy on this is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. Note: Jell-O is a dessert that resembles ready-made jelly. This expression was first used by the American President Theodore Roosevelt in a letter to William Roscoe Thayer in 1915. He was describing the difficulty of negotiating with Colombia over the Panama Canal.
See also: like, nail, trying, wall

nail Jell-O to the wall

and nail Jell-O to a cross and nail Jell-O to a tree
phr. to do something that is totally futile. (Jell-O is a protected trade name.) You’re wasting your time. Trying to get him to do that is like nailing Jell-O to the wall.
See also: nail, wall

nail Jell-O to a cross

verb
See also: cross, nail

nail Jell-O to a tree

verb
See also: nail, tree