Paint oneself into a corner

verb phrase

To put oneself into a frustrating or helpless situation: Paul has painted himself into a corner with that unlikely explanation (1980s+)
Get oneself into a difficulty from which one can’t extricate oneself. For example, By volunteering to do more work in the office and then taking a freelance job, George has painted himself into a corner. This idiom uses the graphic image of painting all of the floor except for the corner one stands in, so that one cannot leave without stepping on wet paint.


Read Also:

  • Paint-pot

    noun 1. Also, paintpot. a container, as a jar, pail, or bucket, for holding paint while it is being applied. 2. Geology. a spring or pit filled with boiling colored mud.

  • Paint-roller

    noun 1. a roller of absorbent material, mounted on a handle, that is rolled in a trough of paint and then rolled over a flat surface to be painted.

  • Paint stripper

    noun 1. a liquid, often caustic, used to remove paint from a surface

  • Paintwork

    /ˈpeɪntˌwɜːk/ noun 1. a surface, such as wood or a car body, that is painted

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