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Short end of the stick

Posted by Dora Fletcher on November 29, 2000

I am quite confident that the phrase "short end of the stick" refers to an old fashioned method for carrying heavy objects. (this can be visualized using a bale of hay) a long stick is inserted through ropes or cords wrapped around the object and two (or more) people carry the object together. If the load is off-center a disproportionate burden is placed on the person(s) on the "short end of the stick".

See also: the meaning and origin of 'short end of the stick'.