Posted by Psi on March 11, 2002
I came across "rod in pickle" in a magazine article dated 1923. The reference books show it as being a scolding or punishment in waiting, as a rod is kept in pickle to preserve it, apparently.
The context in which I read it concerned a sportsman whose form was so good that the opponents would be unpleasantly surprised. The allusion is clearly there (we're going to thrash the opposition), but has anyone any more information about this phrase, please?