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For example, Trying to please both my boss and his supervisor puts me between a rock and a hard place.

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The rock and hard place version is the newest of these synonymous phrases, dating from the early s, and alludes to being caught or crushed between two rocks. The oldest is Scylla and Charybdis , which in Homer's Odyssey signified a monster on a rock Scylla and a fatal whirlpool Charybdis , between which Odysseus had to sail through a narrow passage. It was used figuratively by the Roman writer Virgil and many writers since.

The devil in devil and deep blue sea , according to lexicographer Charles Earle Funk, referred to a seam around a ship's hull near the waterline, which, if a sailor was trying to caulk it in heavy seas, would cause him to fall overboard. Others disagree, however, and believe the phrase simply alludes to a choice between hellfire with the devil and drowning in deep waters.

A Rock And A Hard Place

If you are between a rock and a hard place , you are in a difficult situation where you have to choose between two equally unpleasant courses of action. You're between a rock and a hard place here. If you challenge John about his decision, he's going to be annoyed but if you don't, your staff are going to hate you.

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Note: People often say that they are caught or stuck between a rock and a hard place. We were caught between a rock and a hard place. We could spend two months planning the operation properly and people would say we were too late, or we could start immediately and be criticized for lack of preparation. Goss finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Whichever course of action he chooses, he'll lose the support of some people. So attractive are the blooms that the species is now under threat from over-collection. Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Stefano started taking nature photographs in He focuses on animals and plants in their wild habitats, during particular moments of their lives.

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WPY A Rock in a Hard Place With temperatures topping 40 degrees Celsius that day, the ground was scorching as Stefano knelt to set up his camera. Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement.

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