Between a rock and a hard place

Idiom

Between a rock and a hard place

Definition

The phrase ‘between a rock and a hard place’ is an idiom used to describe a difficult choice between two equally undesirable alternatives.

Examples

I am stuck between a rock and a hard place because I have to decide between two options that I don’t like.

The company was between a rock and a hard place, as it had to choose between two equally disastrous options.

Origin

This phrase is derived from an ancient Greek proverb, which reads, ‘Between a rock and a hard place there is no place’. It was first recorded in English in 1546 and has been used ever since.

FAQs

What does ‘between a rock and a hard place’ mean?

The phrase ‘between a rock and a hard place’ means that someone is in a difficult situation where they have to choose between two equally undesirable alternatives.

Where does ‘between a rock and a hard place’ come from?

This phrase is derived from an ancient Greek proverb which reads, ‘Between a rock and a hard place there is no place’. It was first recorded in English in 1546.