I am looking for a figure of speech which means something vaguely like this:

"Free from certain problems only to get trapped into other"

Is there a proverb or phrase for this because I am not satisfied at all by the way this sentence is framing itself.


marked as duplicate by James Waldby - jwpat7, tchrist, Kristina Lopez, Mitch, Robusto Apr 5 '13 at 23:52

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out of the frying pan (and) into the fire
Figurative. from a bad situation to a worse situation. (Typically: get ~; go ~; jump ~.)

  • No, I don't want to use it in this context. Both the situations are equally bad, just they are different from each other. – addresseerajat Apr 5 '13 at 13:27
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    @addresseerajat: Your question seems to be asking for a phrase that means fleeing one bad situation and falling into another. This answer satisfies that. You may need to re-phrase your question. – tylerharms Apr 5 '13 at 13:30
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    I'm not sure what this comment means. If you're saying that FF's suggestion is not a sentence, he didn't mean it to be - he left it up to you to put it into context. Here's one possibility: "Replacing a defender with another forward to try to get the equaliser has backfired - they've let two more goals in. That's really jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire." – Edwin Ashworth Apr 5 '13 at 13:32
  • There's famously a Hungarian expression, which translates as 'fall off the other side of the horse' ( english.stackexchange.com/questions/97420/… ). – Edwin Ashworth Apr 5 '13 at 13:36
  • +1 to FF. I agree this phrase would be most recognized as having the same meaning as your (OP's) example -- unless you distinguish between "free from" (as in your example) and "freed from". I might say I am free from tyranny, but that is a frying pan I have never been in, so I can't jump out of it. But someone from Elbonia might claim to have been freed from tyranny, only find themselves in other difficulty somewhere else. The OP would have to clarify this, as it's a fine distinction to make. – Canis Lupus Apr 5 '13 at 17:58

The phrase “between a rock and hard place” sometimes is used to describe situations where the various available alternatives each have drawbacks.

For more discussion and background on “Out of the frying pan, into the fire”, see Callithumpian's answer to Are there any expressions that describe going from a bad to a worse situation?.

The term double-edged sword (“something that has or can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences [eg] ”) is sometimes used to say that a given solution can have unintended negative consequences. According to wiktionary,


From the notion that two sides of the same blade are sharp — it cuts both ways. Its origin is from the same Arabic expression سيف ذو حدين (sayf zou hadayn, “double-edged sword”). The term is first attested in the 15th century. It is not to be confused with a double-ended sword.

... (idiomatic) A benefit that is also a liability, or that carries some significant but non-obvious cost or risk.

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