nip and tuck
- (idiomatic) So evenly matched that the advantage shifts from one to the other, and the outcome is uncertain.
- 1867, C.H. Webb, My Mexican Mines, at Harper's Magazine, page 461
- 1906, Jack London, Before Adam, chapter 12
- 1951, Howdy Doody's Christmas
- Well, it was nip and tuck, but everything worked out fine. Santa Claus got there in time to bring toys to all the boys and girls.
- With the advantage changing hands, or shifting back and forth among the available alternatives.
2009, Alec M. Gallup, Frank Newport, Gallup Poll: Public Opinion 2008, page 379:
- Obama's road to the White House was far from assured during the 2008 primary season when he ran nip and tuck with McCain in early Gallup Poll trial heats for the general election.
evenly matched with vacillating advantage