The idiom “in a pickle” refers to being in a tough situation, having a problem for which there is no apparent solution, or being in an unpleasant circumstance with no obvious way out.
Pickle is derived from the Dutch word pekel, which refers to a spicy sauce or brine. So being in a pickle means being in the middle of this brine, which is a terrible place to be.
The use of this phrase in ordinary language, however, can be credited to the British. They used pickle to describe a sauce made up of many components. So being in a pickle means being in the midst of uncomfortable chaos.
Usage with Examples
Here are some examples of the use of “in a pickle” idiom in sentences:
- Alice is in a pickle because she did not fulfil her sales goal for the previous month.
- Grace realised she was in a pickle as the deadline approached and she had yet to complete the job.
- Amanda was caught stealing from the till machine by her supervisor, who turned her over to the cops. She’s now in a pickle.
- I despise being in a pickle because it causes me to be frustrated and stressed.
- Pakistan is in a pickle now that the United States has ceased funding for counter-terrorism efforts.
Synonyms and Similar Words to In a Pickle Idiom
Synonyms of “in a pickle” idiom:
- In a tight spot
- on the hot seat
- in hot water
In a Pickle Idiom Meaning Quiz
As a child, John always used to get in a pickle because
- He was peaceful.
- He used to pick fights with other kids.
- He was friends with everyone.
Correct Answer: b) He used to pick fights with other kids.
Also Read: 150 Common Difficult Idioms with Examples
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