up a/the creek (without a paddle)

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up a/the creek (without a paddle)

slang In a challenging or troublesome situation, especially one that cannot be easily resolved. I have no savings, so if I get fired from my job, I'll be up the creek without a paddle. Shouldn't we stop for gas? We'll be up a creek if the car dies on that desolate road ahead.
See also: creek, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

up the creek (without a paddle)

 and up a creek; up shit creek
Inf. Fig. in an awkward position with no easy way out. I'm sort of up the creek and don't know what to do. You are up a creek! You got yourself into it, so get yourself out.
See also: creek, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

up a creek

Also, up shit creek; up the creek (without a paddle). In trouble, in a serious predicament, as in If the check doesn't arrive today I'm up a creek, or The car wouldn't start, so I was up the creek without a paddle. This slangy idiom conjures up the image of a stranded canoeist with no way of moving (paddling) the canoe. President Harry S. Truman used the first term in a letter in 1918. The first variant is considered vulgar.
See also: creek, up

up the creek

Also, up shit creek. See up a creek.
See also: creek, up
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.

up the creek

INFORMAL or

up shit creek

INFORMAL, VERY RUDE
If someone or something is up the creek or up shit creek, they are in a very difficult situation. The company's recent collapse has left their pension fund members up the creek. If we lose another player through injury we're basically up the creek. The economy's up shit creek and everyone's unemployed. Note: You can also use the full expression, up the creek without a paddle. Manufacturing really is up the creek without a paddle. He owes the bank a lot of money so he's up the creek without a paddle. Note: A creek is a narrow bay. The idea is of being in a boat such as a canoe without being able to control it.
See also: creek, up
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

up the ˈcreek

(informal) (also up shit ˈcreek (without a ˈpaddle) taboo, slang) in great difficulty: Make sure you look after the money and passports — if they get stolen we’ll be right up the creek.
See also: creek, up
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

up a creek

verb
See also: creek, up

up the creek

verb
See also: creek, up

up the creek without a paddle

verb
See also: creek, paddle, up, without
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

up the creek (without a paddle)

Informal
In a difficult, unfortunate, or inextricable position.
See also: creek, up
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

up a/the creek (without a paddle)

In deep trouble; in a tight spot. Also put more baldly as up shit creek, this expression is almost certainly of American vintage from the early twentieth century, but the exact origin has been lost. Joseph Heller used it in Catch-22 (1961): “You really are up the creek, Popinjay.”
See also: creek, up
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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