tiger by the tail

Idiom Definition

"tiger by the tail"

a very difficult and potentially dangerous situation

Idiom Definition - tiger by the tail


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - tiger by the tail

Two fellow business owners are talking ...

Owner 1: Have you taken that big new contract yet?

Owner 2: Not yet. I'm still trying to decide. The contract has a clause which stipulates a large fine for non-performance. I'm not sure if my factory can produce at the triple capacity necessary to fulfill the contract.

Owner 1: Sounds like taking the contract would be like taking a tiger by the tail.

Owner 1: Yes, it could be dangerous.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - tiger by the tail

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: I heard that you've started to play the commodities market.

Friend 2: I have.

Friend 1: Isn't that market a little dangerous and volatile?

Friend 2: Yes. You need nerves of steel and once you buy a contract, you had better have the nerve to stay with it.

Friend 1: Sounds like having a tiger by the tail.

Friend 2: It is.

tiger by the tail - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   47   click for frequency by country

tiger by the tail - Gerund Form:

Grabbing a tiger by the tail can be a potentially dangerous act.

tiger by the tail - Examples:

1)  I rounded up the staff so we could grab this tiger by the tail. I even put on my best work sweater.

2) This put Damar in a position where he'd have to hold this tiger by the tail and keep him in line.

3)  The Fed's grasp of the US economy is more like clasping a tiger by the tail. It can't let the rotten parts of the financial system fail.

4)  For me, the only writer to grab the Celtic Tiger by the tail and pull hard while the tiger roared was Ross O'Carroll Kelly.

5)  Possibly the government may find out they are holding a tiger by the tail come March.

6)  In fact you can grab the tiger by the tail. You may find yourself assuming leadership in community affairs.

7)  They now have the tiger by the tail. If they convict him, they are doomed.

8)  This is something that we can't do; we have the tiger by the tail. We have 4.5 billion people on Earth. We can't support that many.

9)  So we had the proverbial tiger by the tail.

10)  They lack balance because they have built something that is like holding a tiger by the tail -- impossible to let go.

11)  You've got a tiger by the tail and at some point will need, if not want, some major capital to grow with.

12)  They have the tiger by the tail and they know a major goof will cost them control of the currency.

13)  They have acted with such indiscriminate violence that even those sections of the Pakistani security establishment that cynically sought to use the Taliban to gain leverage inside Afghanistan began to realize that they had a tiger by the tail.

14)  Those kids were not only intellectual giants, they were whirlwinds and it was like having a tiger by the tail.

15)  You have a tiger by the tail. You probably cannot sell your investment without completing the rehab.

16)  Director Dillinger grabs this tiger by the tail and rides it for all its worth, never backing down from the high-strung, door-slamming tone.

17)  Conducting this piece, especially with a soloist this turbo-powered, is like having a tiger by the tail.

18)  Owning your own business and being a farmer is akin to having a tiger by the tail.

19)  Haldane compared controlling inflation to Hayrick's belief that overall control of the economy is like holding a tiger by the tail.

20)  The growth of his Speed-flex fitness business is “like having a tiger by the tail,“ says former software entrepreneur Graham Wylie.