draw the short straw

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draw the short straw

To obtain the least favorable, desirable, or fortunate outcome in a given selection. ("Drawing straws" is a technique for deciding something at random. The act of drawing straws does not have to occur for this phrase to be used.) I drew the short straw when it came to cleaning up after our shift last night. Our team drew the short straw and had to come in over the weekend to work on the revised proposal.
See also: draw, short, straw

draw the short straw

mainly BRITISH
If you draw the short straw, you are chosen from a number of people to do a task that nobody wants to do. I drew the short straw and had to take twenty kids to the park. Note: Other verbs such as get and pick are sometimes used instead of draw. Eales got the short straw and was in goal. Note: This expression comes from the practice of using pieces of straw to draw lots. One person holds several pieces of straw in their hand with the ends poking out. Each person in the group takes a piece of straw and the person with the shortest piece loses.
See also: draw, short, straw

draw the short straw

be the unluckiest of a group of people, especially in being chosen to perform an unpleasant task.
One method of drawing lots involves holding several straws of varying lengths with one end concealed in your hand and then inviting other members of the group to take one each.
See also: draw, short, straw

ˌdraw the short ˈstraw

(British English) (American English get the ˌshort end of the ˈstick) be the person in a group who is chosen or forced to do something unpleasant that nobody wants to do: You’ve drawn the short straw, I’m afraid. You’re going to have to work on New Year’s Day.
See also: draw, short, straw
References in periodicals archive ?
HOCKEY: Scotland's men have drawn the short straw for November's Hero Honda World Cup qualifier as they are to travel to Invercargill in New Zealand to compete against the hosts, China, Malaysia, Austria andWales.
A similar remark applies to chief market rival Marchand D'Or, who has drawn the short straw in stall one.
We've got to go to France to play Catalans Dragons on Monday so we've drawn the short straw fixture-wise this Easter.
People who lack height have drawn the short straw for centuries when it comes to lifespan.
We've drawn the short straw again but it's a challenge and we're up for it.
Just think, some poor so-and-so has drawn the short straw of being Geri Halliwell's singing teacher, which is just a notch above being Ann Widdecombe's make-up artist.
Defending All Ireland champions Cork have reason to feel they have drawn the short straw with a rematch against Waterford, whom they narrowly beat in the Munster semi-final.
But the former Everyman pan to favourite had definitely drawn the short straw, replacing at short notice earlier efforts at getting John McArdle and then Michael Starke.
Poor Sarah Greene seems to have drawn the short straw.
Archer and Goode have drawn the short straw in the mixed, where they should line up against Kim Dong-Moon and Ra Kyung-Min at the quarter-final stage.
Offaly have drawn the short straw with Tyrone making the trip to Tullamore in what will be the counties' first ever Championship meeting.
Gary Lockett has drawn the short straw at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday - or, to be accurate, on Sunday.
To Frankie and Sakhee for winning in the `right' time at York, to all at Banstead Manor Stud for their patience and kindness and to Wendy Johnson-Houghton in particular, who must have drawn the short straw in having to cope with my husband and I but did so much to ensure that we enjoyed every minute before the great racing in the afternoon completed a perfect day.