fall between two stools

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Related to fell between two stools: along the lines, without a hitch, take a back seat

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 ?
O'Sullivan has run in the world indoors on two occasions, winning a silver medal in the 3,000 m in '97, before being expected to go one better in Lisbon in 2001 but decided to attempt an impossible double and fell between two stools.
I'm from a generation who went to university in the late 1970s and early 80s which fell between two stools where drug taking was concerned,' he said.
But when the dust has settled on this season, the chances are Chelsea will be remembered as difficult to beat and pleasing to watch, but unfortunate with injuries and a side who fell between two stools, in that they were unable to match Arsenal for defensive rectitude and Manchester United for firepower.