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skin an eel by the tail
To do something in an ill-advised way. Why are you skinning an eel by the tail? You know you can't back out of the driveway until you clear all that snow out of the way!
skin the bear at once
To address an issue directly. Primarily heard in US. A: "Jen means well, but she can be a little blunt." B: "Yeah, she tends to skin the bear at once." This is a big problem to tackle, so let's skin the bear at once, gentlemen—there's no time to waste.
Fig. not easily upset or hurt; insensitive. (The opposite of thin-skinned. Typically: be ~; become ~; grow ~.) Tom won't worry about your insults. He's completely thick-skinned. Jane's so thick-skinned she didn't realize Fred was being rude to her.
Fig. easily upset or hurt; sensitive. (The opposite of thick-skinned. Typically: be ~; become ~; grow ~.) You'll have to handle Mary's mother carefully. She's very thin-skinned. Jane weeps easily when people tease her. She's too thin-skinned.
keep one's eyes open
Also, keep one's eyes peeled or skinned . Be watchful and observant. For example, We should keep our eyes open for a change in the wind's direction, or Keep your eyes peeled for the teacher. The first phrase dates from the late 1800s; the second and third, both colloquial and alluding to the lids not covering the eyes, date from the mid-1800s and 1830s, respectively.
mod. able to withstand much criticism. (Compare this with thin-skinned.) You gotta be more thick-skinned if you want to be a cop.
mod. sensitive to criticism. (Compare this with thick-skinned.) Don’t be so thin-skinned. You can’t expect everyone to like you.