Posted by R. Berg on January 04, 2002
In Reply to: Rock and a hard place posted by quiss on January 04, 2002
: I have wondered about the possibility that "between a rock and a hard place" is simply an Americanization of being caught "between Scylla and Charybdis". (undoubtedly easier to spell and remember).
: Since Scylla lives on a rock, the "hard" might actually stand for "difficult" or "dangerous", such as the whirlpool (Charybdis) on the other side of the ship.
: Any thoughts on this?
You're in good company. Eric Partridge, in "A Dictionary of Catch Phrases American and British," also conjectured that Scylla and Charybdis had prompted "between a rock and a hard place."