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.
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.
up the creek
Also, up shit creek. See up a creek.
up the creekINFORMAL or
up shit creekINFORMAL, 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.
up the ˈcreek(informal) (also up shit ˈcreek (without a ˈpaddle) taboo, slang) in great difficulty: Make sure you look after the money and passports — if they get stolen we’ll be right up the creek.
up the creekverb
up the creek (without a paddle)Informal
In a difficult, unfortunate, or inextricable position.