paint oneself into a corner

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To create a predicament or problem for oneself; to do something that leaves one with no good alternatives or solutions.

Etymology:

  • From the idea that a person painting the floor of a room may inadvertently apply the paint everywhere except the corner that the person is standing in, so that to leave the room the person has no choice but to step on the freshly painted floor and damage it.
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"paint oneself into a corner." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 24 May 2019. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/paint-oneself-into-a-corner_5991>.

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