up the creek


Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

up (a/the) creek (without a paddle)

slang In a challenging or troublesome situation, especially one that cannot be easily resolved. I have no savings, so if I get fired from my job, I'll be up the creek without a paddle. Shouldn't we stop for gas? We'll be up a creek if the car dies on that desolate road ahead.
See also: creek, up

up the creek (without a paddle)

 and up a creek; up shit creek
Inf. Fig. in an awkward position with no easy way out. I'm sort of up the creek and don't know what to do. You are up a creek! You got yourself into it, so get yourself out.
See also: creek, up

up the creek

Also, up shit creek. See up a creek.
See also: creek, up

up the creek

INFORMAL or

up shit creek

INFORMAL, VERY RUDE
If someone or something is up the creek or up shit creek, they are in a very difficult situation. The company's recent collapse has left their pension fund members up the creek. If we lose another player through injury we're basically up the creek. The economy's up shit creek and everyone's unemployed. Note: You can also use the full expression, up the creek without a paddle. Manufacturing really is up the creek without a paddle. He owes the bank a lot of money so he's up the creek without a paddle. Note: A creek is a narrow bay. The idea is of being in a boat such as a canoe without being able to control it.
See also: creek, up

up the creek

verb
See also: creek, up

up the creek (without a paddle)

Informal
In a difficult, unfortunate, or inextricable position.
See also: creek, up
References in classic literature ?
At last, one day, John's great heart had swelled altogether too big to wear his bonds any longer; so he just took his pocket-book out of his desk, and went over into Ohio, and bought a quarter of a township of good, rich land, made out free papers for all his people,--men, women, and children,--packed them up in wagons, and sent them off to settle down; and then honest John turned his face up the creek, and sat quietly down on a snug, retired farm, to enjoy his conscience and his reflections.