from pillar to post
Possibly originally "from post to pillar", a reference to the rapid movement of the ball in real tennis
Compactuno: > As a french speaker, I wonder wether it wouldn't be the wrong usage of a word taken from the Evangile. We say in french "renvoyé de Ponce à Pilate" (Poncius Pilatus in Evangile sent Jesus back to the jew authority)and here it would come from "FROM PILATE TO PONCE" ?
- (idiomatic) From one place (or person, or task) to another; hither and thither
2011 April 2, Steve Brenner, “Joey will defy pack of Wolves”, The Sun:
- Back in August, the Toon ace was kicked from pillar to post by Karl Henry in a bone-crunching midfield battle at Molineux.
2011 March 28, “Bihar Assembly Passes Bill for Time-Bound Government Services”, Daijiworld.com, Patna:
- When the bill becomes an act, it will provide a big relief to people who now run from pillar to post and are forced to pay bribes to get their work done in government offices.
- Normally implies a harassing situation.
- OED 2nd edition 1989