cleft stick


Also found in: Idioms.
Translations

cleft stick

n in a cleft stick (fam) → in un vicolo cieco
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References in classic literature ?
He bore in his right hand a tallow candle stuck in the end of a cleft stick.
Then jumping to his feet, he snatched the cleft stick from the Dodger; and, advancing to Oliver, viewed him round and round; while the Jew, taking off his nightcap, made a great number of low bows to the bewildered boy.
The woman wore a cleft stick on her tongue, in appropriate retribution for having wagged that unruly member against the elders of the church; and her countenance and gestures gave much cause to apprehend that, the moment the stick should be removed, a repetition of the offence would demand new ingenuity in chastising it.
Just as I had written the last word, a Kafir came up my avenue of orange trees, carrying a letter in a cleft stick, which he had brought from the post.
Not more than any other youngster did he like to eat dirt or to be misjudged, but he saw himself in a cleft stick.
This seems an ancient practice now, but at least our runner was no longer required to carry the scoops in a cleft stick like messages sent across Abyssinia.
The IAS officer, Rajagopal Devara, found himself in a cleft stick after penning a commentary on the statewide farmers' agitation titled, 'Shetkari Ekjuticha Vijay' on June 25 in leading Marathi daily 'Lokasatta' of The Indian Express Group, said RTI activist Anil Galgali.
This is rather a comforting conclusion, in the sense that it is what we might predict from basic principles: a place where the system is confused is becoming rather more regularized with the regular verb forms taking over from irregular ones, and the irregular ones becoming specialized, often in rather fixed expressions such as cleft plate, cleft chin, cleft stick, cloven hoof.
In Keresley End we are really in a cleft stick as part of the village is Coventry and another part is Nuneaton and Bedworth.
The club, in a cleft stick, has put a brave face on having to temporarily trash the name which it has so proudly worn since 1882 in order to indulge the whim of meddling politicians.
GODOLPHIN find themselves in a cleft stick in their ambition to bring back the star names illegally doped with anabolic steroids.
With four Congress MLAs being Muslims and four committed party men and thus in n mod to play ball with Modi, the BJP is caught in a cleft stick - the only independent offering support wants to be made deputy chief minister and that brings with it all the insinuations that has brought P such a spectacular victory.