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Between the rock and the hard place meanings

between the rock and the hard place meanings

The phrase 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place' is used when in a very difficult position; facing a hard decision. Definition of BE (CAUGHT / STUCK) BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE (phrase): have to choose between two unpleasant things. “Between a rock and a hard place” is a modern, non-literary variation on the much older “Between Scylla and Charybdis.” Homer, in “The Odyssey”. INVESTING IN CHARITY SHOPS EDINBURGH

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Scylla was at first a kind of nymph but later transformed into a horrible seven-headed monster, while Charybdis had as a particular attribute the ability to swallow huge amounts of water that would later transform into giant whirlpools, causing the sinking of all ships passing through that area. Although all ships knew of the existence of these two monsters and did everything humanly possible to avoid them when navigating those waters, it was impossible to go unnoticed in the eyes of these monsters since the ends of the strait were awfully close to each other and any maneuver of the sailors was practically useless, being inevitably trapped between Scylla and Charybdis.

This caused the phrase "between Scylla and Charybdis" to be used more and more to refer to an extreme situation and impossible to escape, with time this phrase would evolve and change to the expression widely used today "to be caught between a rock and a hard place". Origin In American Culture A much more recent origin of this idiomatic expression can be found in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century.

There is not much more documented data to explain what happened at that time for this phrase to be adopted within the vocabulary of the time, it was simply that it began to be recognized that being between two situations of great difficulty and with no visible way out was the same as "being between a rock and a hard place". Origin In Pop Culture An even more diffuse origin than the other two explained above is the one that some people assign to it but which has no basis or foundation, and that is the association of the idiomatic expression with the era of swordsmen, with sword fights to the death and even with the sport of fencing as the point of origin of the phrase to be caught between the sword and the wall.

Although it seems much more superficial and devoid of tangible evidence to prove its veracity , it cannot be categorically assured that this theory is false and that on the contrary the other two are completely true, simply all contribute and enrich the value and validity of the phrase in today's popular culture. How People Use This Phrase Below we will review some of the main situations in which people currently use the phrase "to be caught between a rock and a hard place".

This is the typical situation where someone especially important to the person will be disappointed in any of the decisions made. Situations Involving Desperation These are those situations where one is aware that any of the options chosen will imply a harmful or highly unpleasant situation for oneself, so the phrase is used as a deep relief to this overwhelming discomfort.

Situations Involving Frustration Although the person wants to act in the right way, he knows that he is forced and cornered by circumstances to decide between two negative scenarios that will prevent him from acting in accordance with his principles. In this case, the phrase is used as a heartfelt expression of frustration. Situations Involving Guilt Undoubtedly, choosing a situation that means harming or damaging a third party will generate in the conscious person a feeling of discomfort that is difficult to contain.

In this case, the phrase is used as a sincere manifestation of guilt. The meaning of the phrase, its different theories of origin, and some of its most common current use among people have been extensively reviewed, so it only remains to show some real examples of the use of this phrase in everyday life.

My mother-in-law has invited me to dinner and my mother has invited me to dinner too, and both invitations are on the same day and at the same time, I am caught between a rock and a hard place! Saturday is my wedding anniversary but I must travel for work that day, I am caught between a rock and a hard place!

I must hire someone and I interviewed a candidate with all the experience and skills we are looking for, but my boss wants me to hire his nephew who has never worked and is disrespectful to people. I am caught between a rock and a hard place!

Conclusion The idiomatic expression "to be caught between a rock and a hard place" graphically illustrates both literally and figuratively its meaning in an amazingly simple way. It is a phrase that is deeply embedded in the popular culture of most countries because it carries a universal meaning that is unanimously recognized, used, and valued to express a feeling that transcends words, and that is really the value that idioms carry.

Origin Decisions are a natural part of life, but sometimes, there are no good options available. These types of situations have existed as long as the human race has been alive. The actual phrase, between a rock and a hard place, however, was penned much later in our evolutionary history. The phrase can be traced back to Greek mythology. In the tale, the character Odysseus must go through a difficult area on his journey.

The Charybdis, which is a dangerous whirlpool, and the cliff-dwelling monster Scylla that loves to eat men, are the dangers he must face. The phrase between a rock and a hard place was used to explain his plight of having to travel between the cliff and the whirlpool.

The Greek saying is more of a translation or inference rather than a direct quote.

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Bailey Zimmerman - Rock and A Hard Place (Lyrics) \

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