tar baby

(redirected from Hug the tar baby)

tar baby

n.
1. A inextricable situation or difficult and pressing problem that often grows worse as one tries to deal with it.
2. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a black person, especially a dark-skinned black child.

[After "Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby," an Uncle Remus story by Joel Chandler Harris in which Brer Fox makes a doll out of tar and Brer Rabbit gets stuck in it when he punches it after it does not return his greeting.]

tar baby

n
a troublesome situation that is made worse by attempts to extricate oneself from it
[C20: after the tar-covered doll in a story (1881) by Joel Chandler Harris]

tar′ ba`by


n.
an inextricable problem or situation.
[after the tar doll in an Uncle Remus story (1881) of J. C. Harris]