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"in the soup"

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on November 25, 2005

In Reply to: "In the soup" posted by Bruce Kahl on November 25, 2005

: : I am looking for a derivation of "in the soup" meaning in difficulty or trouble, or "out of the soup" meaning out of trouble. I know the literal concept as that is pretty clear but do not know really where this phrase originated from. Any ideas?

: Just a guess.
: Maybe a nautical origin with a sailor falling overboard into the soup?

Or a literal metaphor, as in "in a stew" or in a "pickle"? My slang dictionary doesn't have an opinion, but does say that it is late 19th century US slang.