Être dans le pétrin

Etre dans le pétrin, literally “to be in the kneading trough”, means to be in a mess. The closest expression would be “to be in a pickle” or “to be in a fix”. The idea of être dans le pétrin is that you have your hands stuck in the dough and that it will take a while before you can stop kneading and deal with anything else. 

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