Definition of get (or have) someone by the short and curlies (or short hairs) in English:

get (or have) someone by the short and curlies (or short hairs)

phrase

informal
  • Have complete control of a person.

    ‘they had you by your short and curlies the minute they got you into that uniform’
    • ‘Unfortunately we have no options - Telkom has got us by the short and curlies because they have got the monopoly.’
    • ‘Fate's really got me by the short and curlies this time.’
    • ‘Gina was putting on a diplomatic front, but when it came down to it she had him by the short and curlies til Angel got himself out from under the mob's oppressive thumb.’
    • ‘. He has you by the short hairs, especially if he sells food and you are hungry.’
    • ‘As one diver questioned about Diverlog commented: ‘Unless you want to stop diving at the Cove, they've got you by the short and curlies!’’
    • ‘I tell you this… the only time we matter to those scum is when we have them by the short hairs.’
    • ‘They think they have me by the short and curlies, but I shaved everything.’
    • ‘We should know if the US has us by the short and curlies.’
    • ‘To be blunt, we have them by the short hairs here.’
    • ‘‘The Casino rat pack plus one’ has got us by the short and curlies and are now turning in their knuckles to increase the pain.’