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an awkward customer

A troublesome person. I don't want Joe to join the club, he's just such an awkward customer.
See also: awkward, customer

(as) awkward as a cow on a crutch

Very clumsy or uncoordinated. When my toddler was first learning to walk, she was awkward as a cow on a crutch. He'll never make the basketball team—he's as awkward as a cow on a crutch.
See also: awkward, cow, crutch, on

*awkward as a cow on a crutch

 and *awkward as a cow on roller skates
very clumsy or off balance. (*Also: as ~.) When Lulu was overweight, she was awkward as a cow on a crutch. Tom will never be a gymnast. He's as awkward as a cow on roller skates!
See also: awkward, cow, crutch, on

*bull in a china shop

Prov. a very clumsy creature in a delicate situation. (*Typically: as awkward as ~; like ~.) I never know what to say at a funeral. I feel like a bull in a china shop, trampling on feelings without even meaning to. Lester felt like a bull in a china shop; reaching for an orange, he made several elaborate pyramids of fruit tumble down.
See also: bull, china, shop

place someone in an awkward position

Fig. to put someone in an embarrassing or delicate situation. Your decision places me in an awkward position. I'm afraid I have put myself in sort of an awkward position.
See also: awkward, place, position

put someone in an awkward position

to make a situation difficult for someone; to make it difficult for someone to evade or avoid acting. Your demands have put me in an awkward position. I don't know what to do. I'm afraid I've put myself in sort of an awkward position.
See also: awkward, position, put

bull in a china shop

An extremely clumsy person, as in Her living room, with its delicate furniture and knickknacks, made him feel like a bull in a china shop . The precise origin for this term has been lost; it was first recorded in Frederick Marryat's novel, Jacob Faithful (1834).
See also: bull, china, shop

the awkward age

See also: age, awkward

the awkward squad

a squad composed of recruits and soldiers who need further training.
Shortly before his death Robert Burns is reported to have said, ‘Don't let the awkward squad fire over me’. Nowadays, the expression is often used to refer to a group of people who are regarded as tiresome or difficult to deal with.
See also: awkward, squad

the ˈawkward age

the period when some young people have difficulties as they approach adult life: ‘Gary seems such a quiet boy.’ ‘Oh, he’s just at that awkward age — he’ll soon grow out of it.’
See also: age, awkward

bull in a china shop

Clumsily destructive. An early written example of the expression appeared in Frederick Marryat's 1834 novel, Jacob Faithful , although the image of a bull wrecking havoc as he wandered among tables and shelves of fine porcelain can be traced a century earlier. The expression can also be found in several European languages, although the animal in question is an elephant. In 1940, an American press agent led a bull through a New York City china shop as a publicity stunt. The bull didn't break anything, but a bystander trying to avoid the bull backed into a table and caused the damage.
See also: bull, china, shop
References in periodicals archive ?
My colleague, Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri, wrote the book, literally, in "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences.
Adelie An abridged account about an Antarctic avian, Affirmed awkward at ambulation, Apt, avid and adroit at aquatic aviation.
Standing in all weathers for some 800 years in what was once a very important market place; beheaded by Roundheads in the Civil War, plagued by peeling paint and crumbling mortar from the last supposed repair, now badly injured again for the second time in two years only to be accused of being in an awkward place.
Keep being the fun, smart, interesting person you are and power through this awkward phase.
To mark the airline's new services to Orlando it is teaming up with the Awkward Family Photos website to encourage families to upload their "most awkward" family holiday photos for a chance to upgrade to the ultimate family getaway as well as those who submit a photo or vote on their favorites will receive a 33.
Hourigan, who bred yesterday's winner, and Craig enjoyed many great days with Beef Or Salmon, and while the trainer was delighted with Awkward Moment's smoothly achieved success, he wasn't entertaining any comparisons with his multiple Grade 1-winning chaser of the recent past.
All those awkward angles and tight corners can be cleverly designed for shelving, shoe or handbag storage.
The Awkward Season: Prayers for Lent" is a Christian's guide to lent.
Following are three quick fixes to manner mishaps and awkward situations regarding business travel situations:
Despite the ball jumping up off the pitch at awkward heights, Bootle made 220-8, with the skipper himself top scoring with 97.
I have been considering giving them a gift but do not know if it would place them in an awkward situation.
It was quite an awkward fire to deal with because the height made it hard to reach.
Naval history buff David Donachie presents An Awkward Commission, the latest historical novel set in following the life of reluctant seaman John Pearce.
The Northumberland Sheepdog League continued its nursery season at Kirkley Hall, with some rather awkward sheep.