short end of the stick, the
The inferior part, the worse side of an unequal deal. For example, Helen got the short end of the stick when she was assigned another week of night duty. The precise analogy in this term, first recorded in the 1930s, has been lost. Some believe it comes from worse end of the staff, used since the early 1500s, which in the mid-1800s became, in some instances, short or shitty end of the stick, allegedly from a stick poked up one's rectum by another in command of the situation. Others believe it alludes to fighting with sticks, where having a shorter stick is a disadvantage. Also see wrong end of the stick.
QUIZ YOURSELF ON “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!
Example sentences from the Web for short end of the stick, the
Added to drinking water at concentrations of around one part per million, fluoride ions stick to dental plaque.
Yet this, in the end, is a book from which one emerges sad, gloomy, disenchanted, at least if we agree to take it seriously.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President|Pierre Assouline|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
France 24 is providing live, round-the-clock coverage of both scenes as they progress.
As this list shows, punishments typically run to a short-ish jail sentence and/or a moderately hefty fine.
In the end, the clarity that comes from moments of horror can help us recommit to deeper principles.Why We Stand With Charlie Hebdo—And You Should Too|John Avlon|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
I presume the twenty-five or thirty miles at this end is unhealthy, even for natives, but it surely need not be so.Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley
On to Gaba Tepe just in time to see the opening, the climax and the end of the dreaded Turkish counter attack.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I|Ian Hamilton
Sleek finds it far harder work than fortune-making; but he pursues his Will-o'-the-Wisp with untiring energy.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
He wanted to tell her that if she called her father, it would mean the end of everything for them, but he withheld this.The Homesteader|Oscar Micheaux
Under the internal pressure his whiskers stood on end and his face grew red.The Bondboy|George W. (George Washington) Ogden