fall between two stools

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fall between two stools

To be caught between two things and thus unable to adequately do or accommodate both. Primarily heard in UK. I was excited to start taking night classes after work, but now, without enough time to devote either to school or to my job, I feel like I'm falling between two stools.
See also: fall, stool, two

fall between two stools

Fig. to come somewhere between two possibilities and so fail to meet the requirements of either. The material is not suitable for an academic book or for a popular one. It falls between two stools. He tries to be both teacher and friend, but falls between two stools.
See also: fall, stool, two

fall between two stools

or

be caught between two stools

mainly BRITISH
If someone or something falls between two stools or is caught between two stools, they are in an unsatisfactory situation because they do not belong to either of two groups, or because they are trying to do two different things at once and are failing at both. Young people on waiting lists for youth training fall between two stools. They can't get unemployment benefit, nor can they get the allowance for the scheme they're waiting to get on. Devo's problem as a band has always been that they are caught between the two stools of art and pop.
See also: fall, stool, two

fall between two stools

fail to be or to take one of two satisfactory alternatives. British
This phrase comes from the proverb between two stools one falls to the ground , first referred to in English by the medieval writer John Gower in Confessio Amantis ( c .1390 ).
See also: fall, stool, two

fall between two ˈstools

(British English) not be successful, acceptable, etc. because it is neither one thing nor another: The book falls between two stools. It’s neither a love story nor a crime story.
See also: fall, stool, two

fall between (the) two stools

To fail because of an inability to reconcile or choose between two courses of action.
See also: fall, stool, two
References in periodicals archive ?
Brutal Legend flicks between open world exploration and real-time strategy and, as a result, finds itself falling between two stools.
Slither's biggest problem is that it divides the laughs and the horror and runs out of dramatic steam by falling between two stools.
Intriguing it may be pre-application, but this lipstick is in danger of falling between two stools in reality.
The report said small charities were beginning to amass considerable assets and large organisations were increasing in number and size but the 13,000 medium-sized voluntary organisations, with incomes of between pounds 100,000 and pounds 10million appeared to be falling between two stools.
Holberry said: "The multiple grocers have led the way with big packs and independents are falling between two stools.
Four-times successful at Thirsk and twice successful at York and Ayr, Hi Nod, a seven-furlong specialist, scaled the handicap heights but, like so many before him, found himself falling between two stools when attempting to cross the divide into Listed and Group-race company.
It's an uncomfortable middle ground and Shift finds itself falling between two stools as a result.