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ass in a sling



Alternative formsEdit


ass in a sling (usually uncountable, plural asses in slings or asses in a sling)

  1. (Canada, US, informal, mildly vulgar) An uncomfortable personal state of affairs involving injury, defeat, or other trouble, especially a state of affairs resulting from one's own ill-considered actions.
    • 1977, Smokey and the Bandit (film), screenplay, 10:21 (retrieved 24 July 2015):
      I see our asses in a sling if we get caught, that's what I see.
    • 1986 April 27, Howard Kurtz, "Reagan's People: Issues of Propriety," Washington Post (retrieved 24 July 2015):
      Dempsey briefed senior HUD officials on federal ethics rules in early 1981, he said, "and most of those who later got their ass in a sling sat there and ignored it."
    • 1995 Dec. 19, Alex Sharkey, "Dear Roger Mear," Independent (UK) (retrieved 24 July 2015):
      I think that kind of breathless egotism deserves little more than to limp home with its arse in a sling.
    • 2011 June 15, Aaron Schafer, "Cardinals Still Struggling to Spell Relief," Riverfront Times (retrieved 24 July 2015):
      [T]he bullpen's continued ineffectiveness has to fall on John Mozeliak. . . . If it ends up with Johnny Mo's ass in a sling, so be it.
    • 2013 July, Ava Gardner and Peter Evans, "Three Men and a Goddess," Vanity Fair (retrieved 24 July 2015):
      [Frank Sinatra] asked me what I was doing. I said, "The usual. Making pictures. You?" He said, "The usual. Getting my ass in a sling."

Usage notesEdit

  • Sometimes found in variations having a verb between "ass" and "in a sling", as in:
2001 June 24, John Greenwald, "Harvest of Subpoenas," Time (retrieved 24 July 2015):
"There is a lot of snickering because ADM has finally got its ass caught in a sling," said a board member of the Board of Trade.
2008 Oct. 27, Paul Leiberman, "Solid tip saves the crew," Los Angeles Times (retrieved 24 July 2015):
O'Mara was awakened by a call from a supervisor: "Your ass is in a sling."