have a tiger by the tail(redirected from have got a tiger by the tail)
have (got) a tiger by the tail
To be involved with someone or something that is powerful and could become troublesome or threatening. Now that I have to work closely with the CEO on this project, I feel like I have a tiger by the tail.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
have a tiger by the tailand have got a tiger by the tail; have a bear by the tail
Fig. to have become associated with something powerful and potentially dangerous; to have a very difficult problem to solve. You have a tiger by the tail. You bit off more than you could chew. You've had a bear by the tail ever since you agreed to finish that big project.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
have (or catch) a tiger by the tail= ride a tiger.
A similar difficulty confronts those who have a wolf by the ears (see wolf).
1979 Peter Driscoll Pangolin You're taking on an organization with reserves you know nothing about. How do you know you won't be catching a tiger by the tail?
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
have a tiger by the tail
tv. to have become associated with something powerful and potentially dangerous. (Have got can replace have.) You have a tiger by the tail. You bit off more than you could chew.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
tiger by the tail, to have a
To take on something that turns out to be too formidable or difficult. This term, with its vivid image of manually catching a wild beast that rewards one with violent thrashing about (or worse), replaced the earlier catch a Tartar, used from 1663 to the late nineteenth century. Emma Lathen wrote, in Murder Without Icing (1972), “The Sloan Guaranty Trust . . . might well have a tiger by the tail,” alluding to an impossible investment.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer