knot

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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.
See also: get, knickers, knot

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.
See also: get, knot, panties

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.
See also: get, knot, short

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.
See also: knot, tie

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.
See also: knot, tie

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 Daniel, but I think he just needs to bite the bullet and just do it.
See also: knot, tie

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."
See also: cut, Gordian, knot

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.
See also: Gordian, knot

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!
See also: knot, together

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.
See also: knot, tie

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.
See also: knot, tie

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.
See also: knot, tie

tie the knot

to get married She's planning to tie the knot with her German boyfriend next June.
See also: knot, tie

tie somebody (up) in knots

also tie somebody into knots
to cause someone to become very confused or worried They tied themselves up in knots over the seating arrangements for the party. The possibility of layoffs in Joe's department has tied him into knots.
See also: knot, tie

a Gordian knot

  (formal)
a difficult problem
Usage notes: In an old story, King Gordius of Phrygia tied a complicated knot which no one could make loose, until Alexander the Great cut it with his sword.
Homelessness in the inner cities has become a real Gordian knot.
See also: Gordian, knot

get your knickers in a twist

  (British & Australian informal) also get your knickers in a knot (Australian informal)
to become very upset about something, usually something that is not important Now, before you get your knickers in a twist, let me explain the situation.
See also: get, knickers, twist

Get knotted!

  (British & Australian informal, old-fashioned)
an impolite way of telling someone who is annoying you to go away Oh, get knotted, will you, I'm trying to work!
See also: get

at a rate of knots

  (British & Australian)
if someone does something at a rate of knots, they do it very quickly
Usage notes: The speed a boat travels is measured in knots.
She did her homework at a rate of knots so that she could go out with her friends.
See also: knot, of, rate

tie the knot

  (informal)
to get married When are you two going to tie the knot? (often + with ) She's planning to tie the knot with her German boyfriend next June.
See also: knot, tie

tie yourself (up) in knots

 
1. to become very confused or worried when you are trying to make a decision or solve a problem (often + over ) They tied themselves in knots over the seating arrangements.
2. (British & Australian) to become very confused when you are trying to explain something She tied herself up in knots trying to tell me how to operate the video recorder.
See also: knot, tie

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]
See also: knot, tie

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]
See also: knot, tie

knot up

v.
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.
See also: knot, up

balloon knot

n. the anus (From its appearance.) Yeeeouch! Right in the balloon knot!
See also: 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.
See also: knot, tie

tie the knot

Slang
1. To get married.
2. To perform a marriage ceremony.
See also: knot, tie

Gordian knot

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.
See also: Gordian, knot
References in periodicals archive ?
Together with Stu Whittington of the University of Toronto, Sumners demonstrated mathematically in 1988 that if you wait long enough, these random walks will get knotted virtually 100 percent of the time.
After several such steps, the strands had braided, which often meant that the string as a whole was now knotted.
Bacterial genomes are circular, so recombination can produce veritable knotted loops.
When [a polymerase] comes to a knotted area, it will be stuck," Belmonte says.
Knot theorists have long sought practical procedures for distinguishing knotted curves from unknotted ones.
Molecular biologists have used insights from knot theory to understand how DNA strands can be broken and then recombined into knotted forms (SN: 11/16/96, p.
Failure to untangle the loop even after hours of fruitless labor, however, doesn't prove that the loop is truly knotted.
Twisted loops that are not actually knotted also serve as boundaries of disklike surfaces--but here the disks may be extremely convoluted.
A team of scientists in Japan has recently confirmed experimentally that a knotted filament of a cellular protein known as actin also tends to break at bonds neighboring the knot, just as predicted in the computer simulations of simple polymer chains.
Stasiak and his coworkers also demonstrated in their simulations that the average shape of loosely knotted DNA loops flopping around in a good solvent closely resembles the ideal configuration of the given knot.
This monumental, trial-and-error effort resulted in the first tables of knots, organized according to the minimum number of crossings evident in diagrams of the two-dimensional shadows cast by three-dimensional knotted loops.
Molecular biologists are using them to understand how DNA strands can be broken, then recombined into knotted forms.
But it's often hard to tell from a photograph whether a given tangled loop of DNA is actually knotted or whether one knotted loop is really the same as another.
When they went looking for it, they found the predicted knotted loop.
In fact, the mathematical classification of knots started in the late 19th century when British scientist Lord Kelvin hypothesized that atoms were knotted vortices in the ether, an invisible fluid then thought to fill all space.