entre le marteau et l'enclume
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (literally) between the hammer and the anvil
- (by extension, idiomatic) Loosely identical to "In a bad situation"; or to between a rock and a hard place or between the devil and the deep blue sea. But it is not so strong and it doesn't catch the idea of being forced to take into account antagonist interests (the "hammer" and the "anvil"). when a decision is hard to make between one or the opposite one, neither of them being ideal.