I taught a learner the expression “I’m in trouble and make that a double!” today and we started exploring a bunch of other alternatives we can use when we are in difficult situations. Here is what we came up with:
- I’m in a fix.
- I’m in a jam.
- I’m in a predicament.
- I’m up the creek without a paddle.
“Up the creek without a paddle” has always been a favorite of mine. I like the feeling it evokes!
A creek is a minor channel of a river. A paddle is a pole with a broad blade that is used to move a boat around in water.
Imagine being in a boat on a stream without a paddle especially if you are trying to move up the creek. It’s a difficult situation indeed.
Here are a few examples in context:
- The people who invested in that new start up are up the creek without the paddle. They will never come into their money.
- I will be up the creek without a paddle if I don’t get these reports finished up.
Fluency Builder: Discuss the following questions with your teacher or a chat buddy
- Who do you speak to when you feel like you are in a jam?
- When was the last time you were in a serious fix?