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between the jigs and the reels
That which happens among, despite, or because of great confusion, chaos, or disarray; between or because of one thing and another. Primarily heard in Ireland. I was resolved to leave work early that day, but then the boss called a last-minute meeting, the printer stopped working, and I got put on hold with a client for half an hour. So between the jigs and the reels, I ended up leaving an hour late! He drew loans from all over the country, using one to pay off the other. Between the jigs and the reels, he ended up owing more than millions to various banks and investors.
off the reel
1. old-fashioned In a row; consecutively. Used especially in reference to sporting events. The champion golfer managed to shoot six birdies off the reel. What a way to start the tournament.
2. old-fashioned In a continuous flow or manner, without interruption. The leader spouted his newest edict off the reel, such that all in attendance struggled to grasp the entirety of his speech.
To say or recite something very quickly, without much thought or consideration. This guy doesn't know what he's talking about; he's just rattling off a bunch of industry buzz words. The accountant rattled the numbers off to me, but I couldn't tell you what they all meant.
reel back (from something)
1. To stagger, fall back, or be thrown off balance (from some physical blow or impact). She reeled back from the uppercut her opponent delivered. I reeled back after knocking my head into top of the doorframe.
2. To be shocked, bemused, or unable to think clearly (due to an intense emotional reaction to something). I reeled back from the news that my younger brother had died. We all reeled back after hearing that we'd been selected to participate in the tournament.
1. To draw someone or something toward oneself by winding in a line. A noun or pronoun can be used between "reel" and "in." My uncle once reeled in a fish that weighed over 50 pounds! I kept the raft attached to the main boat with a rope so they could reel me in if I drifted too far away.
2. By extension, to lure or bring in someone or something that one wants or needs. A noun or pronoun can be used between "reel" and "in." Arcades always reel kids in with flashy lights and exciting games. We've been reeling in donations from some very big contributors.
1. To list items in quick succession. A noun or pronoun can be used between "reel" and "off." Alexandra can help you study—she can reel off all the elements on the periodic table like it's no big deal.
2. To do several things quickly and seemingly with little effort. A noun or pronoun can be used between "reel" and "off." After months of writer's block, I'm still surprised that I just reeled off three short stories in a week.
1. To unwind or uncoil from, or as if from, a reel. The metal cable made a horrible whining noise as it reeled out down the mineshaft.
2. To unwind or cause something to unwind from, or as if from, a reel. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "reel" and "out." Firefighters began reeling their hoses out from the fire truck. If you reeled out a billion dollars' worth of one-dollar bills strung together end to end, it would wrap around the earth nearly four times.
3. To recite something from memory, especially very quickly or effortlessly. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "reel" and "out." He can reel out the names of every US state and its capital in less than a minute.
reel under (something)
1. To struggle to walk or remain upright due to the weight of something. The recruit was reeling under the steel beams across his shoulders, but the drill sergeant wouldn't let him put them down. It breaks my heart to see such young kids reel under the weight of their backpacks as they walk to and from class each day.
2. To struggle to deal with some oppressive or difficult burden or responsibility. I was happy about the promotion at first, but I have to admit that I'm reeling a bit under the weight of all these responsibilities. I could see that she was reeling under having to make such a difficult decision.
1. To wind or coil something onto, or as if onto, a reel. In each usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "reel" and "up." The hose always gets twisted and bunched whenever I try to reel it up. Remember to reel up the cable at a low speed to reduce friction.
2. To reel one's fishing line in order to bring in what one has caught. My uncle once reeled up a fish that weighed over 50 pounds! I spent nearly 15 minutes trying to reel the pike up.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
rattle something offand reel something off
to recite something quickly and accurately. She can really reel song lyrics off. Listen to Mary rattle off those numbers.
reel back (from something)
to fall or stagger backwards, as from a blow. The boxer reeled back from the blow, stunned. Another blow to the midsection and he reeled back and fell.
reel something in
to bring in something, such as a fish, by winding up the line on a reel. With great effort, she reeled the huge fish in. Hurry and reel in the fish!
reel under something
1. Lit. to stagger under the weight of something. Tony reeled under the weight of the books. She knew she would reel under the heavy load.
2. Fig. to stagger because of a blow. The boxer reeled under the blow to his chin. Fred reeled under the beating that Mike gave him.
3. Fig. to suffer because of a burden. Gary reeled under the responsibilities he had been given. I was just reeling under the burdens of my new job.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Also, reel off. Utter or perform rapidly or effortlessly, often at length. For example, The treasurer rattled off the list of all those who had not paid their dues, or She reeled off song after song. The verb rattle has been used for fast talking since the late 1300s and for other kinds of fast production since the late 1800s (George Bernard Shaw wrote of "men who rattle off their copy" in a letter of 1896). The verb reel off, which alludes to unwinding from a reel, has been used figuratively since about 1830.
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.
off the reel1 without stopping, in an uninterrupted course or succession. 2 immediately, quickly.
1 1946 Sunday Dispatch Won six races off the reel for Wembley Cubs.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
To recite something rapidly and easily; reel something off: She rattled off the names of people who had recently applied for the job opening. He knows every state capital and can easily rattle them off if you ask him to.
1. To draw or haul something inward by winding on a reel: It took me two hours to reel in the giant fish. I reeled the line in slowly, pulling the lure along the bottom.
2. To attract someone or something, such as business or customers: Their excellent pizza is reeling customers in. The fundraising campaign reeled in $10 million.
To recite something quickly and easily: She reeled off the names of all the presidents from memory. The actor reeled his lines off without hesitating.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.