phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Both ends against the middle

Posted by Capeci on May 22, 2005

In Reply to: Re: Both ends against the middle posted by Bruce Kahl on May 16, 2005

: : What does it mean to "play both ends against the middle?" And what is the origin of this phrase? Thanks!

: I have always taken this to mean something my kids used to use on me and my wife.

: They would ask my wife for permission to do something and she would say no.

: They would then come to me, the more liberal of the family, and word the request in such a way that it gave the impression that my wife said it was ok--sorta like "Well mom said it was ok it you say it is ok".

: They are playing both ends against the middle.

: I do not know the origin.

Thanks! But who or what is the "middle" in this scenario? Your children or their desired result?