in a pickle

in a pickle


  • to be in a difficult situation
  • to have a problem where there is no immediate answer or solution
  • to be in an unpleasant situation with no obvious way out

Example Sentences

  1. Seeing as the deadline was looming and Grace was yet to round up the project, she realised she was in a pickle.
  2. Alice is definitely in a pickle as she didn’t meet her last month’s sales target.
  3. I hate being in a pickle as it makes be frustrated and stressed.
  4. Amanda’s boss caught her stealing from the till machine and turned her over to the cops. Now, she’s in a pickle.
  5. Pakistan is in a pickle since the America has stopped its funding to fight against the terrorism.


The word Pickle is originated from a Dutch word, pekel, which refers to a spicy sauce or brine. So to be in a pickle will be to be in the middle of this brine which would definitely be an unpleasant place to be in. However, the use of this phrase in everyday language can be attributed to the British. They used pickle to refer to a sauce made up of a jumble of several ingredients. So to be in a pickle is to be in the midst of a disarray which is unpleasant.

I 2 Thoughts

2 Thoughts

In a pickle is the equivalent of saying in the soup. In the soup also means under trouble or hardship/ difficulty.

- Rohit Chatrath May 1, 2020

Actually it is said that the Dutch used this phrase, even before the publication of William Shakespeare’s “the Tempest” in 1611.

- Anonymous September 13, 2019

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Idiom of the Day

by the skin of your teeth

Meaning: barely manage to do something

Example: We managed to complete the project on time by the skin of our teeth. Read on


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