This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction
What’s it like to be in a pickle? Is it a problem similar to Jonah’s after a huge gray whale swallowed him when he ran from God rather than do His bidding? Jonah lived in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights before he was spewed back onto dry land, very much alive and in good health, praising the Lord and ready to serve Him without question. During the time he was in the whale I’ll bet he was scared but it gave him time to think about why he was there in the first place.
Naw, can’t be that. For one, pickles are green. Wrong color. Secondly, pickles are too small to swallow a man – in fact that’s just plain silly.
We all have heard the term “in a pickle” and we know it means to be in some sort of position to which no easy answer can be found.
Here’s the history of being ‘in a pickle.’ It was first coined by the Dutch from the word “pekel” and referred to a vinegar mixture that was spiced and salted and used as a preservative. It was many years before actual pickles (mainly gherkins) were thrown into the solution and became a favorite snack. Throughout history the idiom took hold and it is a fairly well used phrase yet today, when someone is speaking of being in trouble with no foreseeable way out.
Shakespeare used the expression first in the English language in the year 1611 in ‘The Tempest.’ Of course, the Dutch had used it for many years prior.
I’ve been in a pickle before. I’ve had a major problem and no matter how hard I strategize or use critical thinking I can’t think of an answer that will be a good solution. So what do I do when I’m ‘in a pickle?’
Being ‘in a pickle’ can be frustrating if you let it. But if you slow down, do some research, maybe ask a friend or two and anyone you can find who is an expert on the subject, there’s a good chance you’ll solve the problem.
Although I found no truth to this statement as I researched the idiom, what I did find made me wonder whether or not in early Deutschland it might have been a punishment to be ‘in a pickle’ by an offender either being doused with the brew or having to stay in it for a period of time.
I guess being ‘in a pickle’ is not fun, so I believe I’ll put this post and my research on the shelf. How about you? Ever been in a pickle? How about a whale?
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