sticky

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be in a sticky situation

To be in the midst of or dealing with a particularly awkward, embarrassing, precarious, or difficult situation or circumstance. I knew I was in a sticky situation when the boss saw me kissing his daughter at the movies. I'll be in quite a sticky situation if I arrive at the train station and don't have enough money for the tickets!
See also: situation, sticky

in a sticky situation

In the midst of a particularly awkward, embarrassing, precarious, or difficult situation or circumstance. I found myself in a bit of a sticky situation when the boss saw me kissing his daughter at the movies. I'll be in quite a sticky situation if I arrive at the train station and don't have enough money for the tickets!
See also: situation, sticky

a sticky situation

A particularly awkward, embarrassing, precarious, or difficult situation or circumstance. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I found myself in a bit of a sticky situation when the boss saw me kissing his daughter at the movies. I'll be in quite a sticky situation if I arrive at the train station and don't have enough money for the tickets!
See also: situation, sticky

a sticky wicket

A particularly awkward or difficult situation or circumstance. (Generally used with on. Refers to the pitch, i.e., wicket, used in the game of cricket and the difficulty of playing on one after it has been wetted with rain.) Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I found myself on a bit of a sticky wicket when the boss saw me kissing his daughter at the cinema. I'll be batting on a sticky wicket if I arrive at the train station and don't have enough money for the tickets!
See also: sticky, wicket

batting on a sticky wicket

In the midst of or dealing with a particularly awkward or difficult situation or circumstance. Refers to the pitch, called a "wicket," used in the game of cricket and the difficulty of playing on one after it has been wetted with rain. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I found myself batting on a sticky wicket when the boss saw me kissing his daughter at the cinema. I'll be batting on a sticky wicket if I arrive at the train station and don't have enough money for the tickets!
See also: batting, on, sticky, wicket

on a sticky wicket

In the midst of or dealing with a particularly awkward or difficult situation or circumstance. (Refers to the pitch, called a "wicket," used in the game of cricket and the difficulty of playing on one after it has been wetted with rain.) Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I found myself on a bit of a sticky wicket when the boss saw me kissing his daughter at the cinema. I'll be batting on a sticky wicket if I arrive at the train station and don't have enough money for the tickets!
See also: on, sticky, wicket

meet a sticky end

To experience an unpleasant death, usually as a result of one's own actions. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. You will meet a sticky end if you don't change your reckless ways. The serial purse snatcher met a sticky end when he encountered a little old lady trained in karate.
See also: end, meet, sticky

come to a sticky end

To experience an unpleasant death, usually as a result of one's own actions. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. The serial purse snatcher came to a sticky end when he encountered a little old lady trained in karate. You will come to a sticky end if you don't change your reckless ways.
See also: come, end, sticky

be (batting) on a sticky wicket

To be in the midst of or dealing with a particularly awkward or difficult situation or circumstance. Primarily heard in UK. I knew I was batting on a sticky wicket when the boss saw me kissing his daughter at the cinema. I'll be on quite a sticky wicket if I arrive at the train station and don't have enough money for the tickets!
See also: on, sticky, wicket

have sticky fingers

To have a tendency or inclination to steal things. I think the new cashier we hired has sticky fingers, because money has begun disappearing from the till on the days that he's working.
See also: finger, have, sticky

go through a bad patch

To experience or be in the midst of a period of trouble, difficulty, or hardship. Her business has been going through a bit of a bad patch lately. If things don't pick up soon, she might have to close shop. Our marriage went through a bad patch after Frank lost his job, but now, we love each other more than ever.
See also: bad, patch, through

go through a sticky patch

To experience or be in the midst of a period of trouble, difficulty, or hardship. Her business has been going through a bit of a sticky patch lately. If things don't pick up soon, she might have to close shop. Our marriage went through a sticky patch after Frank lost his job, but now, we love each other more than ever.
See also: patch, sticky, through

hit a bad patch

To experience or be in the midst of a period of trouble, difficulty, or hardship. Her business has hit a bit of a bad patch lately. If things don't pick up soon, she might have to close shop. Our marriage went through a bad patch after Frank lost his job, but now, we love each other more than ever.
See also: bad, hit, patch

hit a sticky patch

To experience or be in the midst of a period of trouble, difficulty, or hardship. Her business has hit a bit of a sticky patch lately. If things don't pick up soon, she might have to close shop. Our marriage hit a sticky patch after Frank lost his job, but now, we love each other more than ever.
See also: hit, patch, sticky

sticky fingers

A tendency or inclination to steal things. I think the new cashier we hired has sticky fingers, because money has begun disappearing from the till on the days that he's working. Someone with sticky fingers has been taking supplies out of the office.
See also: finger, sticky

have sticky fingers

Fig. to have a tendency to steal. The clerk—who had sticky fingers—got fired. The little boy had sticky fingers and was always taking his father's small change.
See also: finger, have, sticky

sticky fingers

A propensity to steal, as in You'd better not leave any cash around; she's known for her sticky fingers. This metaphor makes it seem as if valuables adhere naturally to a thief's fingers. [Colloquial; late 1800s]
See also: finger, sticky

come to a sticky end

BRITISH or

come to a bad end

If someone comes to a sticky end or comes to a bad end, they die in an unpleasant or violent way. Arminius also came to a sticky end, murdered by his own troops. Hassan comes to a bad end, but so does almost everyone else in the book.
See also: come, end, sticky

sticky fingers

INFORMAL
If someone has sticky fingers, they steal things. One of the staff got sticky fingers and lifted hundreds of millions of dollars from accounts at the bank.
See also: finger, sticky

on a sticky wicket

BRITISH, INFORMAL
If someone is on a sticky wicket, they are in a difficult situation and will find it hard to deal with their problems. It seemed to me that we were on rather a sticky wicket. We couldn't admit that we had got the figures without causing a major row to break out. Note: You can call a difficult situation a sticky wicket. The Tottenham manager confessed it had been `a bit of a sticky wicket' for the past couple of weeks. Note: On a cricket pitch, the wicket is the area of grass between the two sets of stumps. When a lot of rain has fallen on the wicket it becomes soft or `sticky', and in these conditions, it is difficult for the batsmen to predict which way the ball will bounce.
See also: on, sticky, wicket

sticky fingers

a propensity to steal. informal
See also: finger, sticky

a sticky wicket

1 a pitch that has been drying out after rain and is therefore difficult to bat on. Cricket 2 a tricky or awkward situation. informal
See also: sticky, wicket

come to a bad/sticky ˈend

(informal) finish in an unpleasant way; finish by having something unpleasant happen to you, usually because of your own actions: The neighbours used to shake their heads at his behaviour and say that he’d come to a bad end.
See also: bad, come, end, sticky

go through, hit, etc. a ˈbad/ˈsticky patch

come to a difficult time in your business, marriage, etc: We’ve struck a bad patch in our marriage.High inflation meant that her business went through a sticky patch.
See also: bad, patch, sticky

have sticky ˈfingers

(informal) be likely to steal something: Be careful about leaving your things lying around. Some people here have got very sticky fingers!
See also: finger, have, sticky

(be on) a ˌsticky ˈwicket

(British English, informal) a situation in which it is difficult to defend yourself against criticism or attack: Don’t be too confident about getting the contract. After our problems with the last one we’re on a sticky wicket there.
In the game of cricket, a sticky wicket is a playing area that is drying out after rain and so is more difficult for the person hitting the ball to play on.
See also: sticky, wicket

sticky

1. mod. gooey. (Standard English.) What is this sticky stuff on my shoe? Oh, no!
2. mod. chancy; awkward. Things began to get a little sticky, and Marlowe began to move toward the door.
3. mod. sentimental. Things were getting a little sticky the more Harriet drank. She tried to kiss me, and I left.
4. mod. having to do with hot and humid weather. I can’t take another sticky day like this.

sticky fingers

n. a tendency to steal. Watch these young kids with sticky fingers who come in here “just looking.”
See also: finger, sticky
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