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get (one's) knickers in a knot
To become overly upset or emotional over something, especially that which is trivial or unimportant. Primarily heard in UK. Ah, don't get your knickers in a knot, I'll have the car back by tomorrow morning! In my opinion, people are getting their knickers in a knot over this election.
get (one's) panties in a knot
To become overly upset or emotional over something, especially that which is trivial or unimportant. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. Ah, don't get your panties in a knot, I'll have the car back by tomorrow morning! In my opinion, people are getting their panties in a knot over this election.
get (one's) shorts in a knot
To become overly upset or emotional over something, especially that which is trivial or unimportant. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. Ah, don't get your shorts in a knot, I'll have the car back by tomorrow morning! In my opinion, people are getting their shorts in a knot over this election.
tie (oneself) in(to) knots
1. To make oneself confused, anxious, worried, and/or upset, as when trying to make a decision, come up with an idea, or resolve an issue. Now don't go tying yourself into knots over the details of your papers—at this point, all you need is a cohesive outline. We've tied ourselves in knots this past week trying to choose who to hire, but I think we've reached a decision.
2. To befuddle oneself while attempting to explain something (to someone). Primarily heard in UK. Jim's a smart guy, but for some reason, he always ties himself into knots whenever I ask him to explain something on the computer for me.
tie (someone) in(to) knots
To make someone confused, anxious, worried, and/or upset. I've been planning on proposing to James on Sunday, but the nervousness is tying me into knots! It's something about the austere way the boss talks that always ties you into knots.
be tied (up) in knots
To be confused, anxious, worried, and/or upset (about something). I've been tied up in knots trying to come up with a good topic for my term paper, but I just can't think of anything! James is tied in knots over how to break up with Danielle, but I think he needs to bite the bullet and just do it.
cut the Gordian knot
To solve a very challenging or daunting problem decisively. The phrase likely alludes to Gordius, the king of Phrygia, who tied a knot that an oracle proclaimed would only be cut by the future ruler of Asia. Alexander the Great allegedly cut the Gordian knot in one blow. A: "Wait, Matt already solved that impossible equation?" B: "Yes! I have no idea how he did it, but he sure cut the Gordian knot."
A complicated problem that can only be solved with creative or unorthodox thinking. In Greek and Roman mythology, King Gordian tied such a complex knot that only Alexander the Great was able to loosen it by cutting it with his sword. Trying to remove the gum from my daughter's hair turned into quite the Gordian knot. Ultimately, it was just easier to cut the tangled mess out of her hair. The coding problem looked like a Gordian knot until we realized we could bypass it altogether with a different approach.
seek a knot in a bulrush
To engage in a futile task; to try to find problems where none exist. A bulrush is a grassy plant that is not prone to knots. You'd have better luck seeking a knot in a bulrush than getting those flowers to grow on such rocky soil. I read the report so many times that the boss will be seeking a knot in a bulrush to try to find errors in it.
at a rate of knots
Rapidly. (A boat's speed is measured in knots.) Primarily heard in UK, Australia. We're going to have to move at a rate of knots to have any hope of getting there on time.
tie (oneself) (up) in knots
1. To make oneself confused, anxious, worried, and/or upset, as when trying to make a decision, come up with an idea, or resolve an issue. Now don't go tying yourself in knots over the details of your papers — at this point, all you need is a cohesive outline. We've tied ourselves in up knots this past week trying to decide on who to hire, but I think we've reached a decision.
2. To become flustered while attempting to explain something (to someone). Jim's a smart guy, but for some reason he always ties himself up in knots whenever I ask him to explain something on the computer for me.
tie (one) (up) in knots
To make one confused, anxious, worried, and/or upset. I've been planning to propose to James on Sunday, but the nervousness is tying me in knots! It's something about the austere, imposing way the boss speaks that always ties everyone up in knots.
Get out of here; go away; get lost. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Listen, I don't want to buy any, so why don't you just get knotted and leave me alone!
tie the knot
To get married (to each other). All of my friends have tied the knot and started having kids. John and Mary are tying the knot this summer in France.
tie (someone or oneself) (up) into knots
1. To make someone oneself feel particularly confused, anxious, worried, or upset. I've been planning to propose to James on Sunday, but the nervousness is tying me into knots! Now don't go tying yourself in knots over the details of your papers—at this point, all you need is a cohesive outline.
2. To cause someone or oneself to become flustered while attempting to explain something. Jim's a smart guy, but for some reason he always ties himself up into knots whenever I ask him to explain something on the computer for me. The complex technical language kept tying me in knots as I tried to present it to the board.
1. To tie or knot something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "knot" and "up." These mittens have a string that you can knot up to keep them together.
2. To become tied or knotted. For some reason, these strands of Christmas lights tend to knot up more than the others.
3. To cause something to become tense or painful. A noun or pronoun can be used between "knot" and "up." Nerves knotted my stomach up before I took the stage at the talent show. Why don't you try stretching when your back gets all knotted up?
4. To tie the score in a game or contest. A noun or pronoun can be used between "knot" and "up." A great shot from one of their defensemen knotted up the score at 2-2.
slang The anus. That bout of diarrhea wreaked havoc on my balloon knot, I'll tell you that much.
knot something together
to tie something together in a knot. Knot these strings together and trim the strings off the knot. Are the ropes knotted together properly? Quickly knot together the two loose ends!
tie someone (up) in knots
Fig. to become anxious or upset. John tied himself in knots worrying about his wife during her operation. This waiting and worrying really ties me up in knots.
tie something in a knot
to bend something, such as a rope, upon itself to make a knot. I ended up tying the rope in a knot. The rope was tied in a knot and no one could get it undone.
tie the knot
1. Fig. to marry a mate. We tied the knot in a little chapel on the Arkansas border. They finally tied the knot.
2. Fig. [for a cleric or other authorized person] to unite a couple in marriage. It was hard to find somebody to tie the knot at that hour. It only took a few minutes for the ship's captain to tie the knot.
tie into knots
Confuse, upset, or bewilder, as in He tied himself into knots when he tried to explain how the engine works. This metaphoric idiom transfers a knotted tangle to mental confusion. [Late 1800s]
tie the knot
Get married; also, perform a marriage ceremony. For example, So when are you two going to tie the knot? or They asked their friend, who is a judge, to tie the knot. [Early 1700s]
cut the Gordian knotLITERARY
If someone cuts the Gordian knot, they deal with a difficult situation in a quick, forceful and effective way. Mr Sandler cut the Gordian knot that was strangling the market. Note: Verbs such as break, untie and untangle are sometimes used instead of cut. Which country should make the first move to untie the Gordian knot? Note: Gordian knot is used to describe a problem that is very difficult to solve. The federal deficit has become the Gordian knot of Washington. He found himself tied up in a real emotional Gordian Knot. Note: According to an ancient legend, Gordius, the king of Phrygia, tied a knot that nobody could untie. It was said that if anyone untied it, they would become the next ruler of Asia. When Alexander the Great heard this, he solved the problem by cutting through the knot with a sword.
tie the knotINFORMAL
COMMON If two people tie the knot, they get married. The couple tied the knot last year after a 13-year romance. Len tied the knot with Kate five years ago. Note: Tying knots in items of clothing or ribbons worn by the bride and groom is a traditional feature of many wedding ceremonies, symbolizing their unity.
tie someone in knotsor
tie someone up in knots
If someone ties you in knots or ties you up in knots in a discussion or argument, they confuse you by using clever arguments, so that you cannot argue or think clearly any longer. He could tie her in knots in an argument and never once missed an opportunity to prove his intellectual superiority. He had easily tied her up in knots, cleverly casting serious doubt on her mental faculties.
tie yourself in knotsor
tie yourself up in knots
If you tie yourself in knots or tie yourself up in knots, you make yourself confused or anxious, so you are not able to think clearly. The New York Times editorial page tied itself in knots trying to find the correct tone with which to treat the matter. Catherine is tying herself up in knots with worry because nine-year-old Alice has school phobia.
at a rate of knotsBRITISH
If someone does something at a rate of knots, they do it very quickly. The band worked at a rate of knots on the LP, often flying back to Dublin after a European show, working all night on the album. By 1935, Blyton was publishing at a rate of knots — adventures, fairy tales, mysteries. Note: The speed of ships is measured in knots. A knot is one nautical mile per hour, equivalent to 1.15 land miles per hour.
cut the Gordian knotsolve or remove a problem in a direct or forceful way, rejecting gentler or more indirect methods.
The knot referred to is that with which Gordius, king of ancient Phrygia (in Asia Minor), fastened the yoke of his wagon to the pole. Its complexity was such that it gave rise to the legend that whoever could undo it would become the ruler of Asia. When Alexander the Great passed that way en route to conquer the East he is said simply to have severed the knot with his sword.
at a rate of knotsvery fast. British informal
A knot here is a nautical unit of speed, equal to one nautical mile per hour.
tie the knotget married. informal
tie someone (up) in knotsmake someone completely confused. informal
1996 Daily Star It looks like an open and shut case until the brilliant QC starts getting the prosecution witnesses tied up in knots.
get knottedused to express contemptuous rejection of someone. British informal
cut/untie the ˌGordian ˈknotsolve a very difficult or complicated problem with forceful action: Will the negotiators be able to untie the Gordian knot?This expression comes from the legend in which King Gordius tied a very complicated knot and said that whoever untied it would become the ruler of Asia. Alexander the Great cut through the knot with his sword.
at a rate of ˈknots(British English, informal) very fast: You must have been going at a rate of knots to have finished so soon. OPPOSITE: at a snail’s pace
The speed of a boat or ship is measured in knots.
tie somebody/yourself (up) in ˈknotsbecome or make somebody very confused: The interviewer tied the Prime Minister up in knots. He looked a complete fool. ♢ He tied himself up in knots when he tried to explain why he had lipstick on his face.
tie the ˈknot(informal) get married: When did you two decide to tie the knot?
1. To tangle or tie something in a knot or knots: The wind knotted my hair up. Don't let the kittens knot up the yarn.
2. To become tangled or tied in a knot or knots: My shoelaces knotted up. If you don't comb your hair, it will knot up.
3. To make something or someone painfully tense, as from illness or grief: Something I ate has knotted up my stomach. The sad scene at the end of the movie knotted me up. I get all knotted up when I think of the terrible accident.
4. To equal an opponent's score in some contest: The home team knotted up the game. The hockey player knotted it up with a last-minute goal. The game was knotted up at 2-2.
n. the anus (From its appearance.) Yeeeouch! Right in the balloon knot!
tie the knot
1. tv. to marry a mate. We tied the knot in a little chapel on the Arkansas border.
2. tv. [for a cleric] to unite a couple in marriage. It was hard to find somebody to tie the knot at that hour.
tie the knotSlang
1. To get married.
2. To perform a marriage ceremony.
A difficult problem that can be solved by an unexpected and simple method. According to an old Greek legend, a poor peasant named Gordius appeared in the public square of Phrygia in an ox cart. Since an oracle had prophesized that the future king would ride into town in a wagon, Gordius was made ruler. In gratitude, Gordius dedicated his ox cart to Zeus and tied the cart to a pole with a highly intricate knot, whereupon an oracle foretold that whosoever untied the knot would rule all of Asia. Although many tried in vain to untie the knot, it took Alexander the Great to do so, which he did with one cut of his sword. That might not have been the method that Gordius or the oracle had in mind, but it was good enough to enable Alexander to conquer most of Asia as well as a large chunk of the rest of the known world.