Caught flat-footed



Caught unprepared, taken by surprise, as in The reporter’s question caught the President flat-footed. This usage comes from one or another sport in which a player should be on his or her toes, ready to act. [ c. 1900 ]
Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

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  • Caught in a rundown

    adjective phrase In an embarrassingand untenable plight: The imperilled Cuomo seemed to be constantly in motion. Sometimes he moved so desperately that he seemed to be caught in a rundown—a reminder that he had briefly been a center fielder with a Pittsburgh Pirates farm team (1970s+ fr baseball)

  • Caught in the middle

    Also, caught in the cross-fire. Between two opposing sides, as in The writers are often caught in the middle between editor and publisher, who are political opponents, or When parents don’t get along, the children are often caught in the cross-fire. Long used in military situations, these terms began to be used figuratively in the […]



  • Caught looking

    adjective phrase Called out on strikes from not swinging (1970s+ Baseball) Historical Examples

  • Caught short

    Found to be lacking something one needs, especially money, as in Can you pay the check? I seem to be caught short. This idiom uses short in the sense of “lacking money,” a usage dating from the early 1500s. Contemporary Examples Historical Examples



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