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 being trapped between a ship's devil (= a piece of wood or a joint on a wooden ship that is difficult to reach) and the water

New idioms dictionary. 2014.

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 — 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 — 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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