Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
be in a pickle
slang To be in a troublesome situation. The adjectives "pretty" and "right" are commonly used before "pickle." Boy, am I in a pickle—I accidentally made plans with two different men tonight! We're in a pretty pickle now because the hotel gave our room away!
in a pickle
In a troublesome or difficult situation. The adjectives "pretty" and "right" are commonly used before "pickle." Boy, am I in a pickle—I accidentally made plans to meet with two different clients today. We're in a pretty pickle now because the hotel gave our room away.
a rod in pickle
obsolete A punishment or retaliation kept in store for future use. The prime minister insisted that Britain had a rod in pickle for any nation that dared encroach upon its sovereign borders in force.
in a fix
In a troublesome situation. Boy, I'm really in a fix—I accidentally made plans with two different men tonight! We're in a fix now because the hotel gave our room away!
in a pretty pickle
In a troublesome or difficult situation. Boy, am I in a pretty pickle—I accidentally made plans to meet with two different clients today. We're in a pretty pickle now because the hotel gave our room away.
1. An exaggerated frown, scowl, or sullen expression (as if reacting to the briny flavor of pickle juice). What's with the picklepuss? We're on vacation—lighten up! The president's famous picklepuss appeared the moment the British Prime Minister began talking about the proposed trade agreement during the conference.
2. Someone who wears such an expression frequently or constantly. We threw a surprise birthday party for Bill, but the picklepuss that he didn't even smile. Don't be such a picklepuss, darling. We're at a party, so stop worrying about work and try to enjoy yourself.
play hide the pickle
vulgar slang To engage in sexual intercourse. "Pickle" is a vulgar slang term for a penis. "Hide the pickle" is sometimes hyphenated. A: "So, did you two play hide the pickle last night?" B: "Hey, that's a very personal question!" They made out on the dance floor for a while before going back to her dorm room to play a little hide-the-pickle.
A particularly troublesome or difficult predicament. Boy, am I in a pretty pickle—I accidentally made plans to meet with two different clients at the same time today. Don't worry, I've been in prettier pickles than this. Well, this is a pretty pickle, isn't it? What can we do to get out of it?
*in a fix
Fig. in a bad situation. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~.) I really got myself into a fix. I owe a lot of money on my taxes. John is in a fix because he lost his wallet. John got into a fix.
*in a (pretty) pickle
Fig. in a mess; in trouble. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~.) John has gotten himself into a pickle. He has two dates for the party. Now we are in a pretty pickle. We are out of gas.
Fig. a difficult situation. (Pickle = a bad situation.) Well, this is a pretty pickle you've gotten us into.
in a fix
Also, in a pickle or spot . In a difficult or embarrassing situation, in a dilemma. For example, I was really in a fix when I missed the plane, or Lost and out of gas-how did we get in such a pickle? or John had lost all his money in the crap game-now he was in a spot. The first of these colloquial usages dates from the early 1800s; pickle in the sense of a mess or quandary, sometimes put as in a pretty pickle, dates from the 1500s; spot, also put as in a bad spot or tough spot , dates from the early 1900s. Also see in a bind; in deep, def. 2; in the soup; in trouble; on the spot.
in a fixINFORMAL
If someone is in a fix, they are in a difficult or dangerous situation. He kept turning to me whenever he was in a fix and of course I'd help him out. The government is in a fix over access to the countryside.
a rod in picklea punishment in store.
In pickle means ‘preserved ready for future use’. This form, which dates from the mid 17th century, has superseded an earlier mid 16th-century variant a rod in piss .
in a (real, right, etc.) ˈpickle(informal) in a difficult situation; in a mess: Things are in a real pickle at the moment, I’m afraid. My assistant’s left and I’m completely lost without him! ♢ Can you help me? I’m in a bit of a pickle.
n. a person who has a puckered up mouth; a child who is about to cry. She is such a picklepuss. Nothing seems to please her.
in a pickle, to be/get
In a bad situation; in trouble. Although it sounds very up to date, this expression dates from Shakespeare’s time. “How camest thou in this pickle?” says Alonso to his fellow-conspirator (The Tempest, 5.1). The term has been so used ever since.
See also: get