get the short end of the stick

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get the short end of the stick

To receive an unequal outcome of a deal that results in a disadvantage or burden; to be slighted in some way. You have to stay calm during business negotiations or else you may end up getting the short end of the stick.
See also: end, get, of, short, stick
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

get the short end of the stick

mainly AMERICAN
If you get the short end of the stick, you are in a worse position than other people in a particular situation, although this is not your fault. Kids and young families get the short end of the stick because they don't get the kind of support that they need. As usual it's the consumer who gets the short end of the stick.
See also: end, get, of, short, stick
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

short end of the stick, to get/have the

To lose out; to get less than one is entitled to. Exactly what kind of stick is being referred to is no longer known, but possibly it is one used in fighting or in a tug-of-war, in which the person holding the longer end has the advantage. “He having gotten (as we say) the better end of the staffs, did wrest our wills at his pleasure,” wrote Thomas Jackson in 1626 (Commentaries upon the Apostles Creed). Around the turn of the twentieth century in America, “the short end” of anything came to mean the inferior part, and soon this was combined with “stick” to yield the current cliché. See also wrong end of the stick.
See also: end, get, have, of, short, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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