entre le marteau et l'enclume

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entre le marteau et l'enclume

  1. (literally) between the hammer and the anvil
  2. (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.