reel

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between the jigs and the reels

That which happens among, despite, or because of great confusion, chaos, or disarray; between or because of one thing and another. Primarily heard in Ireland. I was resolved to leave work early that day, but then the boss called a last-minute meeting, the printer stopped working, and I got put on hold with a client for half an hour. So between the jigs and the reels, I ended up leaving an hour late! He drew loans from all over the country, using one to pay off the other. Between the jigs and the reels, he ended up owing more than millions to various banks and investors.
See also: and, jig, reel

rattle something off

 and reel something off
to recite something quickly and accurately. She can really reel song lyrics off. Listen to Mary rattle off those numbers.
See also: off, rattle

reel back (from something)

to fall or stagger backwards, as from a blow. The boxer reeled back from the blow, stunned. Another blow to the midsection and he reeled back and fell.
See also: back, reel

reel something in

to bring in something, such as a fish, by winding up the line on a reel. With great effort, she reeled the huge fish in. Hurry and reel in the fish!
See also: reel

reel under something

 
1. Lit. to stagger under the weight of something. Tony reeled under the weight of the books. She knew she would reel under the heavy load.
2. Fig. to stagger because of a blow. The boxer reeled under the blow to his chin. Fred reeled under the beating that Mike gave him.
3. Fig. to suffer because of a burden. Gary reeled under the responsibilities he had been given. I was just reeling under the burdens of my new job.
See also: reel

rattle off something

also rattle something off
to say something quickly She rattled something off in French that I didn't understand.
Usage notes: often used when someone gives a list of facts or other related information from memory: Walter could rattle off the statistics of players from the 1920s and '30s.
Related vocabulary: reel off something
See also: off, rattle

reel in somebody/something

also reel somebody/something in
1. to pull someone or something toward you We snagged the alligator near its tail and reeled it in. Rob took his hand, reeled him in, and gave him a big hug.
2. to attract someone or something Car dealers have to work harder to reel in customers when the economy is in bad shape.
Etymology: from the use of a reel (an object shaped like a wheel) used to pull in the fishing line when a fish is caught
See also: reel

reel off something

also reel something off
1. to say a list of things quickly and easily He reeled off the names and ages of his seven grandchildren. Related vocabulary: rattle off something
2. to do something quickly and easily In the American league, Boston has reeled off four straight victories.
See also: off, reel

rattle off

Also, reel off. Utter or perform rapidly or effortlessly, often at length. For example, The treasurer rattled off the list of all those who had not paid their dues, or She reeled off song after song. The verb rattle has been used for fast talking since the late 1300s and for other kinds of fast production since the late 1800s (George Bernard Shaw wrote of "men who rattle off their copy" in a letter of 1896). The verb reel off, which alludes to unwinding from a reel, has been used figuratively since about 1830.
See also: off, rattle

rattle off

v.
To recite something rapidly and easily; reel something off: She rattled off the names of people who had recently applied for the job opening. He knows every state capital and can easily rattle them off if you ask him to.
See also: off, rattle

reel in

v.
1. To draw or haul something inward by winding on a reel: It took me two hours to reel in the giant fish. I reeled the line in slowly, pulling the lure along the bottom.
2. To attract someone or something, such as business or customers: Their excellent pizza is reeling customers in. The fundraising campaign reeled in $10 million.
See also: reel

reel off

v.
To recite something quickly and easily: She reeled off the names of all the presidents from memory. The actor reeled his lines off without hesitating.
See also: off, reel
References in classic literature ?
One afternoon, after twenty minutes of desperate efforts to annihilate each other according to set rules that did not permit kicking, striking below the belt, nor hitting when one was down, Cheese-Face, panting for breath and reeling, offered to call it quits.
He blocked several vicious blows and then smashed back, sending Ponta reeling.
In sore travail, gasping, reeling, panting, with glazing eyes and sobbing breath, grotesque and heroic, fighting to the last, striving to get at his antagonist, he surged and was driven about the ring.
To think this is giddiness and vertigo to human limbs, and even vomiting to the stomach: verily, the reeling sickness do I call it, to conjecture such a thing.
When she rolled she fell on her side headlong, and she would be righted back by such a demolishing blow that Jukes felt her reeling as a clubbed man reels before he collapses.
Tenders are invited for Rate Contract for Tasar Reeling M/c - 9 Nos.
877) GO-REELS Fax: (800) REELING, E-mail: reels@hannay.
30 seconds of a line-burning run, followed by pumping, reeling and pumping trying to regain the lost line.
After 45 minutes of fighting and pulling and reeling, we landed an 18-inch catfish on a rod and reel designed to catch pan fish.
Players will be reeling in the credits with this classic game
Unfortunately, the arms were slower to respond; the sudden excitement had apparently short-circuited the synapses and reeling was a remote possibility, let alone making a fist.
Phone: (877) GO-REELS FAX: (800) REELING Int'l Phone: (518) 797-3791 Int'l FAX: (518) 797-3259 reels@hannay.
And because calicos are a topwater fish - that is, they live in very shallow subtidal waters and prefer kelp, reefs, oil derricks and other structure at depths of 10 to 70 feet - you won't be spending an inordinate amount of time lowering the bait and reeling in the catch.
And I could really feel the fight in these 2- and 3-pounders, unlike the more subtle sensation of reeling up bass on heavier bait outfits, sometimes like so much dead weight.