in a pickle

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Being in a difficult predicament; a mess; an undesirable situation.

Etymology:

  • 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. grammarist.com
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My friend look like he's really in a pickle.

Submitted on January 01, 2020

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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to in a pickle

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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"in a pickle." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 26 Feb. 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/in-a-pickle_62034>.

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