on the horns of a dilemma


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on the horns of a dilemma

Struggling to choose between two problematic or unappealing options. I'm really on the horns of a dilemma here—do I say no to this great job opportunity, or do I accept it and move away from my family?
See also: dilemma, horn, of, on

on the horns of a dilemma

Fig. having to decide between two things, people, etc. Mary found herself on the horns of a dilemma. She didn't know which to choose. I make up my mind easily. I'm not on the horns of a dilemma very often.
See also: dilemma, horn, of, on

horns of a dilemma, on the

Faced with two equally undesirable alternatives. For example, I'm on the horns of a dilemma: if I sell the house now I have no place to live, but if I wait I may not get as good a price . This term was first recorded about 1600, but the idea of being caught on either one horn or the other (of an animal) was already expressed in Roman times.
See also: horn, of, on

on the horns of a dilemma

faced with a decision involving equally unfavourable alternatives.
A mid 16th-century source described a dilemma as ‘a horned argument’ (after Latin argumentum cornutum ), the idea being that if you avoided one ‘horn’ of the argument you ended up impaled on the other.
See also: dilemma, horn, of, on

on the horns of a dilemma

Faced with two equally undesirable alternatives.
See also: dilemma, horn, of, on

horns of a dilemma, on the

Faced with two equally undesirable alternatives. In Greek logic a lemma was a premise, a matter taken for granted in an argument, whereas a dilemma (a double lemma) was an either/or proposition. The Romans called this an argumentum cornutum, or “horned argument,” because one could be caught on either horn. In the sixteenth century Nicholas Udall, translator of Erasmus, turned it into a horned question: “Because that to whether of both partyes a bodye shall make a direct aunswere, he shall renne on the sharpe poyncte of a horne.” Soon thereafter it began to be called “the horns of a dilemma.”
See also: horn, of, on
References in periodicals archive ?
And the munch bunch have got SSPCA staff on the horns of a dilemma.