phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Draw the long straw

Posted by Smokey Stover on December 17, 2005

In Reply to: Draw the long straw posted by ShihuaCao on December 17, 2005

: Draw the long straw

: What does it mean? Thanks in advance.

Unles they've changed the rules, one usually hears "drew the short straw." When it comes to choosing which of us few guys is going to, say, beard the lion, one way to choose is to go around the group saying "Eenie meenie miney moe," etc., and another way to to hold up a group of straws, hidden behind the hand of one invidual. These are not soda straws, but straws found in a horse barn or in a harvested field, such as straws of wheat. They are broken off to various lengths, one being shorter than the others. They are held up, with their lengths concealed by the hand, and the members of the group choose a straw. He who gets the short straw does the undesirable task. (Obviously this is one of very many ways to choose.)

To draw the long straw is (ordinarily) to be lucky. But maybe the rules have changed. SS