Is there any distinction between "pull from under the rug" and "leave in the lurch"? What separates them? I've scoured some online dictionaries, but I fail to see the difference.
For example, The Free Dictionary defines
pull the rug (out) from under (someone): "to suddenly or unexpectedly remove or rescind support, help, or assistance from someone; to abruptly leave someone in a problematic or difficult situation".
leave (one) in the lurch: "to leave or abandon one without assistance in a particularly awkward, difficult, or troublesome situation."
These idioms seem the same to me in meaning. Likewise, I've looked at some examples.
"Pull the rug from under":
- "I felt like someone had pulled the rug out from under me when my health insurance said it was going to stop paying for my medical bills."
- "I'd love to quit my job, but I just can't pull the rug from under my team like that."
"Leave in the lurch":
- "I'll really be left in the lurch if the manager decides to quit before this project is finished."
- "Janet was left in a lurch organizing her kid's birthday party when her husband decided to go on a weekend getaway with his friends."
In each of these examples, pull the rug from under and leave in the lurches refer to a situation wherein someone is left to fend for himself/herself.