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in•debt•ed•ness(ɪnˈdɛt ɪd nɪs)
(See also POVERTY.)
in the hole In debt; in financial difficulties. The story behind this U.S. slang expression has to do with proprietors in gambling houses taking an amount of money out of the pots as a percentage due the “house.” When money must be paid up, one “goes to the hole” with a check. The “hole” is a slot cut in the middle of the poker table leading to a locked compartment below. All the checks “in the hole” become the property of the keeper of the place. The gamblers’ losses were the keeper’s gain. In the hole has been popular since the 1890s, although put [someone] in the hole ‘to swindle or defraud’ dates from the early 1800s.
How in the world did you manage to get in the hole for a sum like that? (P. G. Wodehouse, Uncle Fred in Springtime, 1939)
in the ketchup Operating at a deficit; in debt; failing to show a profit. Ketchup is a more graphic term than red but the meaning of in the ketchup is synonymous with in the red. The former, a slang expression of U.S. origin, dates from the mid-1900s.
Ridgway … has wound up in the ketchup trying to operate a gym. (Dan Parker, Daily Mirror, September 11, 1949)
in the red Operating at a deficit; in debt. This 20th-century colloquial Americanism is so called from the bookkeeping practice of entering debits in red ink. The opposite out of the red ‘out of debt’ (or in the black) is also current.
Rigid enforcement of economies in running expenses will lift the club’s balance sheet out of the red where it now is. (Mazama, June 1, 1948)
lame duck See INEFFECTUALITY.
lose one’s shirt See FAILURE.
on the rocks Ruined, especially financially; hence, bankrupt, destitute. The concept, but no record of the actual phrase, dates from the days when a merchant’s wealth depended on the safety of ships at sea. Shipwreck—or going on the rocks—meant financial disaster. In Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, Salarino asks Antonio:
Should I … not bethink me
straight of dangerous rocks,
Which touching but my gentle vessel’s side
Would scatter all her spices on the stream,
Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks—
And, in a word, but even now worth this,
And now worth nothing? (I, i)
over one’s head See PREDICAMENT.
take a bath See FAILURE.
washed out See FAILURE.
|Noun||1.||indebtedness - an obligation to pay money to another party|
limited liability - the liability of a firm's owners for no more than the capital they have invested in the firm
obligation - the state of being obligated to do or pay something; "he is under an obligation to finish the job"
debt - the state of owing something (especially money); "he is badly in debt"
arrears - the state of being behind in payments; "an account in arrears"
account payable, payable - a liability account showing how much is owed for goods and services purchased on credit; "the problem was to match receivables and payables in the same currency"
scot and lot - obligations of all kinds taken as a whole
|2.||indebtedness - a personal relation in which one is indebted for a service or favor|