be in a pickle

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be in a pickle

slang To be in a troublesome situation. The adjectives "pretty" and "right" are commonly used before "pickle." Boy, am I in a pickle—I accidentally made plans with two different men tonight! We're in a pretty pickle now because the hotel gave our room away!
See also: pickle

in a pickle, to be/get

In a bad situation; in trouble. Although it sounds very up to date, this expression dates from Shakespeare’s time. “How camest thou in this pickle?” says Alonso to his fellow-conspirator (The Tempest, 5.1). The term has been so used ever since.
See also: get