pickle


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a dilly of a pickle

old-fashioned slang An especially tricky, difficult, or troublesome situation. A pun on "dilly" (a remarkable or extraordinary person or thing), "pickle" (a predicament), and "dill pickle" (literally, a pickled cucumber flavored with dill). This is a dilly of a pickle we're in, Stuart. Just how are we going to explain this to the boss without getting fired? Boy, am I in a dilly of a pickle—I accidentally made plans with two different men tonight! We're in a dilly of a pickle now because the hotel gave our room away!
See also: dilly, of, pickle

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. You lot aren't allowed to go into town without your Mum or me—and we've got a rod in pickle for anyone who defies us! I have a rod in pickle for misbehaving students like you, Jon!
See also: pickle, rod

be in a pickle

slang To be in a troublesome situation. Boy, am I in a pickle—I accidentally made plans with two different men tonight! We're in a real pickle now because the hotel gave our room away!
See also: pickle

be in a pretty pickle

slang To be in a particularly troublesome situation. Boy, am I in a pretty pickle now—I accidentally made plans with two different men tonight! We forgot to book a hotel room before we left. We'll be in a pretty pickle if the hotel doesn't have any rooms free when we get there!
See also: pickle, pretty

get in a pickle

1. To become involved in a difficult, problematic, or troublesome situation. Tom's father has a lot of influence in the community, so he always steps in whenever Tom gets in a pickle. Those two knuckleheads are always getting in some pickle or another.
2. To create a difficult, problematic, or troublesome situation for someone else. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "get" and "in." The new CEO has gotten the company in a pickle with this disastrous new marketing campaign. It's not the first time that Sarah's opinions have gotten her in a pickle at school.
See also: get, pickle

get into a pickle

1. To become involved in a difficult, problematic, or troublesome situation. Tom's father has a lot of influence in the community, so he always steps in whenever Tom gets into a pickle. Those two knuckleheads are always getting into some pickle or another.
2. To create a difficult, problematic, or troublesome situation for oneself or someone else. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "get" and "into." The new CEO has gotten the company into a pickle with this disastrous new marketing campaign. It's not the first time that Sarah's opinions have gotten her into a pickle at school.
See also: get, pickle

Hold the (condiment).

An instruction not to add a particular condiment to one's order. Hi there, I'd like a double cheeseburger, please. Hold the mustard. A: "Do you want anything from the counter?" B: "Yeah, would you go order me a hot dog? Tell them to hold the onions, though."
See also: hold

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!
See also: fix

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.
See also: pickle

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.
See also: pickle, pretty

in a right pickle

In a troublesome or difficult situation. Boy, am I in a right pickle—I accidentally made plans to meet with two different clients today. We're in a right pickle now because the hotel gave our room away.
See also: pickle, right

in a spot

In a challenging or problematic situation; in a predicament. I'm in a spot here—I need to be at a job interview in an hour, and my car won't start.
See also: spot

pickle

informal A particularly troublesome or difficult predicament. Boy, am I in a pickle—I accidentally made plans to meet with two different clients at the same time today. Don't worry, I've been in worse pickles than this. Well, this is a pretty pickle, isn't it? What can we do to get out of it?

picklepuss

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 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.
See also: hide, pickle, play

pretty 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?
See also: pickle, pretty

tickle (one's) pickle

1. To be appealing or pleasant to someone; to be intriguing or of interest to someone. A: "Do you want to go to a movie later on?" B: "I don't know, there's nothing that really tickles my pickle in theaters right now." I'm not going to declare my major until I've had a couple years in college to see what ends up tickling my pickle.
2. vulgar slang Of a man, to masturbate. Yeah, I still think of my ex-girlfriend when I, you know, tickle my pickle.
3. vulgar slang To masturbate a man. I thought that maybe she'd tickle my pickle, but our date ended right after the movie.
See also: pickle, tickle
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*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.
See also: 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.
See also: pickle

*in a (tight) spot

Fig. caught in a problem; in a jam. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~. See also in a bind and the examples.) Look, John, I'm in a tight spot. Can you lend me twenty dollars? I'm in a spot too. I need $300.
See also: spot

pretty pickle

Fig. a difficult situation. (Pickle = a bad situation.) Well, this is a pretty pickle you've gotten us into.
See also: pickle, pretty
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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.
See also: fix
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.

in a fix

INFORMAL
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.
See also: fix
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a rod in pickle

a 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 .
See also: pickle, rod
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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.
See also: pickle
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

picklepuss

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.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Elmhurst Pickle Ball Club is one of the main promoters of the sport in town.
"Chicken pickle takes two months to prepare, fish takes one and half months and vegetable pickles take almost one month.
Now, few young Andhra women know how to make this pickle and with expatriate Andhra families, the pickling tradition is confined to carrying the precious cargo from back home, made by grandma or mum or an aunt.
The raiding team also witnessed stinky environment, poor storage system and the thick layers of fungus in the blue drums in which pickle has been preserved.
The raiding team also witnessed stinky environment, poor storage system and thick layers of fungus in blue drums in which pickle had been preserved.
Upon search, unhealthy pickle weighing 50,000 kg and other raw material was seized.
Pair the Pickle Pipes with the glass Pickle Pebbles, which will ensure your veggies stay below the surface of the brine, and the Pickle Packer, which will aid you in packing vegetables into jars, and you'll be ready to get started.
"Pickle -- A cucumber preserved in vinegar, brine, or similar solution, and excluding all other pickled vegetables," officials at the agency wrote into the state's administrative code in 2014.
"Pickle and Kiwi are half-brothers, but they're totally different.
LAHORE:The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) on Saturday sealed a pickle factory and two food processing units during separate actions in various cities on Saturday.The PFA team on a tip-off raided a pickle factory in Multan.
Place some of the small white pebbles at the bottom of the pickle jar to weigh it down.
But going from stall to stall, The Post soon found itself in a pickle trying to delve deeper into the history and place within Khmer cuisine of preserving foods in vinegar or brine.
"Rick and Morty" Season 3, episode 3, titled "Pickle Rick," will see Rick (Justin Roiland) turning into a pickle.