Have someone over a barrel

verb phrase

To have someone in a helpless position: Okay, you got me over a barrel/ It may look like you got me over a barrel now (1930s+)

verb phrase

To have someone at a disadvantage or in an awkward position

[1938+; apparently in allusion to the state of someone placed over a barrel to clear the lungs of water after being rescued from drowning]


Read Also:

  • Have something against

    Be opposed to, especially for a particular reason. For example, Do you have something against this plan? or Annie must have something against Mary, because she’s always so surly when they’re together.

  • Have something cinched

    verb phrase (Variations: iced or knocked or made or taped or wired may replace cinched) To be entirely sure of a favorable outcome; be sure of success, well-being, etc: Then you see the helicopter and you know you’ve got it knocked/ A veteran bank shot artist who has the back boards at West 4th Street […]

  • Have something coming

    see: have it coming

  • Have something down pat

    verb phrase To know something or be able to do something perfectly; be perfect master of something: I had my story down pat, so I almost believed it myself ( first form 1896+, second 1915+)

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