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knee-deep in the Big Muddy

Stuck in a bad or troublesome situation, often as a result of poor leadership. It seems that the elected officials around here are knee-deep in the Big Muddy—and the common folk like you have to suffer because of it. Well, we're knee-deep in the Big Muddy now! What the heck are we gonna do?
See also: big, muddy

muddy the water(s)

To introduce something, typically information, to an issue or situation that makes it less clear or more confusing. Don't muddy the waters with unrelated issues—we need to focus on this one problem. The last witness's testimony has really muddied the water for the prosecution's case against the defendant.
See also: muddy

muddy the waters

To introduce something, typically information, to an issue or situation that makes it less clear or more confusing. Don't muddy the waters with unrelated issues—we need to focus on this one problem. The last witness's testimony has muddied the waters, and most likely doubt has entered the minds of the jury members.
See also: muddy, water

muddy up

1. To cover, fill, or contaminate something with mud. A noun or pronoun can be used between "muddy" and "up." I just got the Jeep washed, and then Tom took it off-roading in the mountains and muddied it up again! Take your boots off so you don't muddy up my carpets! They all went into the wading pool and muddied up the water.
2. To dredge up the mud at the bottom of a lake, pond, river, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "muddy" and "up." The lake is so perfectly tranquil and still—don't ruin that by traipsing in and muddying it up! We could have found your ring in this pond if you hadn't muddied the water up before we started looking!
3. To render something awkward, confusing, and disorderly; to obscure or obfuscate something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "muddy" and "up"; often used in passive constructions. The introduction of new tariffs is likely to further muddy up the already complicated relationship between the two countries. They muddied the contract up with all sorts of misleading, cryptic language. Our roles within the team have become so muddied up that we've largely given up the idea of job titles.
See also: muddy, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

muddy something up

1. to make water muddy; to stir up the mud in water, as at the bottom of a pond or river. Don't muddy the water up. It will clog our filters. Don't muddy up the water.
2. Fig. to make something unclear. You have really muddied this issue up. I thought I understood it. You sure muddied up this issue.
See also: muddy, up

muddy the water

Fig. to make something less clear; to make matters confusing; to create difficulty where there was none before. Things were going along quite smoothly until you came along and muddied the water. The events of the past month have muddied the water as far as our proposed joint venture is concerned.
See also: muddy, water
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

muddy the waters

Confuse the issue, as in Bringing up one irrelevant fact after another, he succeeded in muddying the waters. This metaphoric expression, alluding to making a pond or stream turbid by stirring up mud from the bottom, was first recorded in 1837.
See also: muddy, water
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

muddy the waters

If someone or something muddies the waters, they make a situation or an issue more confusing and complicated. The society has been accused of trying to muddy the waters through its poll which has been described as `misleading'. This ruling seems only to have muddied the waters and we are seeking clarification.
See also: muddy, water
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

muddy the waters

make an issue or a situation more confusing and harder to understand by introducing complications.
The figurative use of muddy to mean ‘make something hard to perceive or understand’ occurs in Shakespeare ; muddy the waters dates from the mid 19th century.
See also: muddy, water
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

muddy the ˈwaters

(disapproving) make something which seemed clear and easy to understand before seem much less clear now: Recent research findings have muddied the waters considerably — nuclear scientists are having to re-examine all their existing theories.They’re just muddying the waters with all this new information.
See also: muddy, water
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

muddy the waters, to

To confuse the issue. This analogy to stirring up the mud from the bottom of a clear pond, lake, or stream dates from the early nineteenth century. The OED quotes Blackwell’s Magazine (1837): “He . . . began to muddy the water.”
See also: muddy, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
In particular, the QVerity report repeatedly indicates Burford exhibited "aggression, evasion and persuasion" in its response to six key issues raised by the Muddy Waters report, it said.
The post Muddy Street Blue: A band across nations appeared first on Cyprus Mail .
All participants who had already registered for this year's Pretty Muddy Aberdeen have been advised of the cancellation.
The Pretty Muddy event on May 12, open to women, men and children, is an exciting obstacle course, where participants wriggle through scramble nets, bounce on space hoppers and crawl through a mud pit - to help raise money for life-saving research.
He said muddy houses saw large-scale destruction in the earthquake compared with those with metal roofing and therefore, the people opted for the latter while reconstructing houses.
Muddy Waters Research, in a new report on its website, said it is short Inogen because it believes management has "created an egregiously false narrative about the Total Addressable Market size and growth." The firm estimates the company's U.S.
As the story goes, Muddy was never one to follow directions, whether it was when his grandma told him to stay out of the mud or when he played his own music despite requests from a record producer.
(NASDAQ: EBMT) has closed the acquisition of Big Muddy Bancorp, Inc.
They were taking part in Cancer Research UK's Pretty Muddy obstacle course to raise funds for the charity.
Participants faced a range of fun and muddy obstacles to crawl under, clamber over and charge through - from space hoppers and scramble nets to muddy pools and mud chutes.
Summary: Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh) [India], July 7 (ANI): As a mark of protest, a section of Muslims in Gonda area on Friday offered namaz in the middle of muddy water.
The frantic efforts to rescue a dozen boys and their soccer coach after a heavy rainstorm flooded the entrance to a popular cave in Thailand were complicated Tuesday by muddy floodwaters as Thai Navy SEAL divers entered the muddy chambers, according to a top official.
The women-only 5k and 10k races take place every summer and now those who want an extra challenge can take on mud obstacle courses - Pretty Muddy - events.
Ribbon cuttings were held at Salon Serenity, 1206 Swanwick St., Muddy River Coffee Shop, 106 W.