Between two stools

Posted by Smokey Stover on April 21, 2005

In Reply to: Between two stools posted by ESC on April 21, 2005

: : What is the meaning of "This plan falls between two stools"?

: Meaning
: Uncertainty and hesitation.

: Origin
: From the proverbial 'between two stools you fall to the ground'.

: For more information, search the archives under "stools."

Apparently it's a very old phrase. OED: "3. fig. a. Proverb, to fall, come to the ground, sit between two stools: to incur failure through vacillation between two different courses of action. [earliest citation:] 1390 GOWER Conf. I. 15 Bot it is seid..Betwen tuo Stoles lyth the fal, Whan that men wenen best to sitte."