English Idiom – In a pickle.

Meaning – To be in a difficult or complicated situation, typically one that is hard to get out of. The phrase can be used in a variety of contexts, such as when someone is facing a problem with no obvious solution or when they are in a situation that has unexpected consequences.

The word pickle has several meanings. It can be used as a noun or a verb, and can refer to:

  • A preserved food that has been soaked in a vinegar or salt solution, such as pickles, olives, or sauerkraut.
  • A difficult or awkward situation, as in this idiom.
  • To preserve food by soaking it in a vinegar or salt solution.
  • To marinate or flavor food by soaking it in a vinegar or salt solution.
  • A small amount of food or condiment, such as a pickle or an olive, that is typically served as a garnish or accompaniment to a dish.
  • To treat or season with a pickle or pickling solution.


When could you use this idiom?

  • When someone is facing a difficult situation that they’re not sure how to resolve.
  • A colleague someone is facing a deadline or other time-sensitive task that they’re not sure they can complete on time.
  • Your friend is dealing with an unexpected problem or obstacle that they didn’t anticipate.
  • You are in a state of confusion or uncertainty and don’t know how to proceed.


  • “Tom is in a pickle because he forgot his wife’s birthday and he needs to find a last-minute gift to make it up to her!”

In The News:

Federal baht bus standing ban puts drivers in a pickle


  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.

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