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between the devil and the deep blue sea

between a rock and a hard place & between the devil and the deep blue sea
Fig. in a very difficult position; facing a hard decision. •

I couldn't make up my mind. I was caught between a rock and a hard place.

He had a dilemma on his hands. He was clearly between the devil and the deep blue sea.

* * *
or {literary}[between two fires] or[between a rock and a hard place] {adv. phr.} Between two dangers or difficulties, not knowing what to do. * /The pirates had to fight and be killed or give up and be hanged; they were between the devil and the deep blue sea./ * /The boy was between a rock and a hard place; he had to go home and be whipped or stay in town all night and be picked up by the police./ * /When the man's wife and her mother got together, he was between two fires./ Compare: COMING AND GOING(2), IN A BIND.

Dictionary of American idioms. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea — is an idiom meaning a dilemma i.e., to choose between two undesirable situations (equivalent to between a rock and a hard place ). Its original meaning may be that of a nautical reference citing the deep blue sea and a devil a seam (where two… …   Wikipedia

  • between the devil and the deep blue sea — or {literary}[between two fires] or[between a rock and a hard place] {adv. phr.} Between two dangers or difficulties, not knowing what to do. * /The pirates had to fight and be killed or give up and be hanged; they were between the devil and the… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • between the devil and the deep blue sea — If you are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, you are in a dilemma; a difficult choice …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • between the devil and the deep blue sea — ► between the devil and the deep blue sea caught in a dilemma. Main Entry: ↑devil …   English terms dictionary

  • between the devil and the deep blue sea — phrasal see between the devil and the deep sea * * * between the devil and the deep blue sea In a desperate dilemma, faced with two undesirable alternatives • • • Main Entry: ↑between * * * between the devil and the deep blue sea phrase in a… …   Useful english dictionary

  • between the devil and the deep blue sea —    If you are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, you are in a dilemma; a difficult choice.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    If you are between the devil and the deep blue sea, you are in a situation where there are two equally …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • between the devil and the deep blue sea — having only two very unpleasant choices. Our country is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea our leaders cause great suffering, but an invasion aimed at overthrowing them would bring many other problems. Etymology: based on the idea of… …   New idioms dictionary

  • between the devil and the deep blue sea — in a difficult position, no place to go, between a rock..., Sophie s choice    If he ran, they would shoot him; if he stayed in the shop, the gas would kill him. He was between the devil and the deep blue sea …   English idioms

  • Between the devil and the deep blue sea —   If you are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, you are in a dilemma; a difficult choice …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • between the devil and the deep blue sea — caught in a difficult position, between a rock and a hard place …   English contemporary dictionary


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