One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
proper nounGreek Mythology
A female sea monster who devoured sailors when they tried to navigate the narrow channel between her cave and the whirlpool Charybdis. In later legend Scylla was a dangerous rock, located on the Italian side of the Strait of Messina.
Scylla and Charybdis
Used to refer to a situation involving two dangers in which an attempt to avoid one increases the risk from the other.‘the difficulty is to navigate between the Scylla of authoritarian taste and the Charybdis of slop’
- ‘Sceptics about musical meaning tend to regard these alternatives under the sign of Scylla and Charybdis, as formidable dangers nearly impossible to avoid.’
- ‘Ah, the joys of being a late Boomer in middle-age, caught between Scylla and Charybdis.’
- ‘Racing down the straight, under the railway bridge, knocking my shins against Scylla and Charybdis, I make it to the end.’
- ‘So most US voters think things are going really well, when in fact the CPA is piloting between Scylla and Charybdis.’
- ‘With software that asked voters to confirm their choices, the new machinery, it was thought, would avoid the Scylla and Charybdis of over-votes and under-votes.’
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