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In a pickle

In a pickle means in a difficult situation or in a quandary. The origin of the phrase in a pickle seems to stem from two different places. First, there is the sixteenth century Dutch phrase in de pekel zitten which literally translates as sitting in the pickle, meaning to be drunk. Second, there is the Shakespeare play The Tempest, in which Alonso asks “How camest thou in this pickle?” and Trinculo answers “I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last that, I fear me, will never out of my bones…” In this case the phrase in a pickle also refers to being drunk, in time it came to mean to be in a difficult situation or in a quandry.


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Examples

Rate cut puts savers in a pickle, but good for borrowers (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Overseas expansion puts Forever 21 in a pickle (The Korea Herald)

In a pickle…forklift truck driver buried under tons of cheese (The Belfast Telegraph)

A walk to Mahlena O’Neal and a single by MacKenzie Veuve loaded the bases, putting Benicia ace McKenna Gregory in a pickle. (The Modesto Bee)

This puts the original Andean farmers in a pickle; using their current farming techniques they are not competitive on price alone, and the market rate for quinoa is $2 per kilogram, compared to the $2.60 that the Fairtrade Foundation says is necessary to maintain a decent standard of living. (The Economist)

No bathroom for you: The students in America who identify as non-binary are really in a pickle. (The Newnan Times Herald)

When Pratt rounded third in an attempt to score, he got caught in a pickle, and shortstop Peter Microulis corralled the hopper and threw low to Bourdeau at the plate. (The Pawtucket Times)

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