ended up bald = lost everything

cfu507

Senior Member
Hebrew
Hi, is there an expression like "he ended up bald from both sides".

Context: a man loves two women. He can't decide which one to live with, and in the end, both of them leave him.

Another context: A man is looking for a job. He has two potential work places and can't decide which to choose. He says: let me think about it for a week, but at the end of the week, the two potential work places are not relevant anymore, someone else got the job.

Thanks
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Where did you hear or read this expression, CFU? I've never heard it before. There are expressions such as "He was between a rock and a hard place" that mean you are in a tight spot with nowhere to go, but I don't think that's exactly what you mean.
     

    cfu507

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    Where did you hear or read this expression, CFU? I've never heard it before. There are expressions such as "He was between a rock and a hard place" that mean you are in a tight spot with nowhere to go, but I don't think that's exactly what you mean.
    Hi, it is an expression in Hebrew which I'm trying to translate to English.
    The expression you wrote is not the same.
    Is there another expression to this kind of situations?
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi, it is an expression in Hebrew which I'm trying to translate to English.
    The expression you wrote is not the same.
    Is there another expression to this kind of situations?
    The only one that I can think of that's remotely close is: "He wants to have his cake and eat it too". What it means is that he wants the benefit of having something (one of the ladies or one of the jobs) but he doesn't want to give up either. He wants to eat his cake but he still wants to have it (to eat) - he can't have both but that's what he wants.

    This expression doesn't really touch on the fact that he loses both as a result of his indecision but I can't think offhand of a saying that would reference the loss.
     

    cfu507

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    The only one that I can think of that's remotely close is: "He wants to have his cake and eat it too". What it means is that he wants the benefit of having something (one of the ladies or one of the jobs) but he doesn't want to give up either. He wants to eat his cake but he still wants to have it (to eat) - he can't have both but that's what he wants.

    This expression doesn't really touch on the fact that he loses both as a result of his indecision but I can't think offhand of a saying that would reference the loss.
    Thank you Dimcl, I know the expression with the cake; we say the same in Hebrew. You were right, it is not exactly like what I was trying to express.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    There is an old, but no longer very common, expression "to fall between two stools". It means to fail at two different tasks because of not applying enough attention or decisiveness to either. The expression comes from the idea of trying to sit on two stools, or chairs, at the same time, and falling between both.
     

    cfu507

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    Great GreenWhiteBlue, it means that you want two things and lost both of them. Thank you every one.

    If you have an idea why it is not common anymore and if there is another more common expression I would like to know. Thanks again.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi cfu

    The only thing I can think of is the proverb "He who hesitates is lost".
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    He was dating two women? He was "balled" from both sides.

    What is the exact translation of "bald" in the original sentence?
     

    cfu507

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    He was dating two women? He was "balled" from both sides.

    What is the exact translation of "bald" in the original sentence?
    Bald means with no hair on his head.
    The phrase comes from a story about a man who loves too women. A young lady who tears out his white hair overtime she sees him because she doesn't want people to think that he is her father. The second woman is older and she tears out his black hair when she sees him. She does it because she doesn't want people to think that he is younger than her.
    So in the end, he ended it up bald.

    Edit: I belive both women left him in the end.

    We use this expression like GreenWhiteBlue's suggestion.
     

    lablady

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I thought I recognized the story! :) It's an old Aesop's fable.

    According to the book of fables currently on the bookshelf in my home, that story is "The Man and His Two Wives". This book doesn't have the wives leaving the man once he became bald, but I do think I remember hearing that version at one time. I also recall hearing a version where the ladies were just sweethearts and not wives.

    Either way, the moral given at the end of the story is, "Yield to all and you will soon have nothing to yield." Here is a website of Aesop's fables that gives the same moral. (Click on the link at the top, or scroll down about half way).

    That may be as close as I can get to finding an expression for you. :D
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    This has already come up in the Hebrew forum. As you can see, it wasn't any easier to find an English equivalent the first time around. :D

    It looks like the idiom with the stools, outdated though it may be, is the best we've got - so far, anyway.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Bald means with no hair on his head.
    The phrase comes from a story about a man who loves too women. A young lady who tears out his white hair overtime she sees him because she doesn't want people to think that he is her father. The second woman is older and she tears out his black hair when she sees him. She does it because she doesn't want people to think that he is younger than her.
    So in the end, he ended it up bald.

    Edit: I believe both women left him in the end.

    We use this expression like GreenWhiteBlue's suggestion.
    "Bald from both sides" sounds wrong to me within this context. It sounds like he is bald from the left and the right side of his head, whereas he is actually bald from assaults from two sources.

    Bald from two fronts (a military reference)
    Bald from two sources (both women)
     
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