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There are many synonyms, slang expressions, and idioms that refers to or almost to "advantage." For example, well as I said, a head start refers to an advantage.

However there are rarely a few words that is for "disadvantage." Here are from Thesaurus.com:

  • detriment
  • harm
  • prejudice
  • damage
  • deprivation
  • disservice
  • injury

bolded: common

So I am looking for a cool idiom for "disadvantage". It should sound:

  • cool (duh)
  • informal (well, I said "cool")
  • not necessarily 2+ words
  • spoken widely in the U.S. (but British and other dialects are welcome, too) or
  • be an idiom that everyone (native speakers) knows but is possibly offensive for some people (or something that I should bear in mind in case I come across it and use it without knowing and running into a problem. For example, I am not supposed to ever say the n-word in my entire life. Like that.)

I'm fine with seeing foul language like "grab them with the... ahem" without being censored or warning, if you need it.

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'cool' is quite a subjective term, and without any context to go on, it's really quite difficult to say whether a particular idiom or synonym will fit the context of the sentence you want to drop it into.

There are many words and expressions that can be used to describe a disadvantage - just off the top of my head, the following ones come to mind, but there are many more.

  • held back
  • hamstrung
  • handicap
  • hampered
  • stumbling block
  • downside

The only thing that held Joe back from joining the swim team was lack of transportation.

The company claims it is being hamstrung by government regulations.

The basketball player's small size did not handicap him in the least.

The project was hampered by budget restraints.

My plans to take over the world hit a stumbling block.

The downside of living in the country is, of course, the long commute to work.

If you'd like something more specific, then you may wish to edit your question to include a sentence or paragraph to set the tone of what you are looking for.

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