cleft

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Related to Clefting: harelipped, Cleft sentence

in a cleft stick

In a problematic or difficult situation; having only undesirable or unfavorable options from which to choose. (From the image of being wedged into a crack in a stick, unable to move.) Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Well, we're caught in a cleft stick now! Do we start pushing the car towards town, or hope that someone passes by with a can of petrol? With such unlikable candidates, the public has been left in a cleft stick.
See also: cleft, stick

be in a cleft stick

To be in a problematic or difficult situation; to have only undesirable or unfavorable options from which to choose. (From the image of being wedged into a crack in a stick, unable to move.) Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Well, we're in a cleft stick now! Do we start pushing the car towards town, or hope that someone passes by with a can of petrol? With such unlikable candidates, the public is really in a cleft stick.
See also: cleft, stick

in a cleft stick

BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If you are in a cleft stick, you are in a difficult situation which you cannot solve easily. I'm in something of a cleft stick — whatever I do, I'll upset someone. Note: This expression may refer to the practice of trapping snakes by holding them down behind the head with a cleft stick (= stick that is Y-shaped at the end).
See also: cleft, stick

be (or be caught) in a cleft stick

be in a difficult situation, when any action you take will have adverse consequences. chiefly British
Cleft is one of the forms of the past participle of cleave , in its basic meaning of ‘divide with a cutting blow’ or ‘split’. The other form still current in standard English is cloven , and the two words tend to be used in different contexts: we find a cleft stick and a cleft palate but a cloven hoof .
See also: cleft, stick

be (caught) in a cleft ˈstick

(informal) be in a difficult situation when any action you take will have bad results: I was in a cleft stick — my job was boring but I couldn’t move to another firm without losing my company pension.
See also: cleft, stick
References in periodicals archive ?
40) Various incidence rates of oral clefting could be related to the influence of social and ethnical/racial factors in different parts of the world, which are commonly explained as genetic disorders.
3) Also, oral clefting was significantly more common among boys in Japan and Estonia, (8,11) and most commonly affected by cleft lip and cleft lip with cleft palate in Pakistan.
A previous case-control study performed in the Southern Brazilian population also found no association between the rare TGFA C2 allele and clefting.
23,24) A negative association between TGFA and clefting in previous Brazilian studies could be due to selection of controls.
Hypoplasia during the early embryonic period could result to severe clefting of the mandible extending into the neck, while disturbances during the late embryonic period may result in less severe median clefts.
Before this, examination for facial clefting was optional and detection rates varied across the UK.
Classically, there is some degree of retrognathia, and various degrees of clefting of the lip and mandible may be present.
There appears to be a greater chance of clefting in a newborn if a positive family history exists.
3) Sodium valporate taken during pregnancy is known to cause clefting.
Velocardiofacial syndrome is classically characterized by clefting of the secondary palate, cardiac defects, learning disabilities, and facial dysmorphism.