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In Russian we have a term "Выкрутился из положения" or just "Выкрутился" which means cunningly getting out of an awkward position or situation.

I mean, imaging, you are talking to a writer and you ask him different questions about his book and he tries to answer them but he seems not to know his own book well enough or just doesn't want to answer all those questions so he just says, "You can find all the answers in my book" and so you say this...

What is the English term for it (a phrase, an idiom or a word)?

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  • Check out Bre'r Rabbit.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 19:42
  • @J.R. I'm sorry. What exactly should I check out there? Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 19:44
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    The folk tale expresses the same ability to escape a difficult situation. A good English term is wily from the archaic wile. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 19:47
  • Sounds like "deflecting" to me ... I mean, if he doesn't know his own book and all.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 20:03
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    If you wanted a verb, you should have asked for a verb, not a "phrase, idiom, or word"!
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 20:16

1 Answer 1

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From The Free Dictionary (alternative added):

wriggle (or wiggle) out of
To extricate oneself from (an undesirable situation or responsibility, for example) by sly or subtle means

This Wiktionary entry contains the following translation of the phrase in the question:

выкрутиться из затруднительного положения [...] ― to extricate oneself from a difficult situation; get out of a scrape


There are also phrases such as give an evasive answer, dodge / sidestep the question, etc., which might be worth considering when describing the situation you presented.

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  • I upvoted this answer, but I must comment: I like get out of a scrape much better than "extricate oneself from a difficult situation". (I think "extricate oneself" is a fine translation, but a bit too formal for most day-to-day conversation.)
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 20:27
  • @J.R. Is "get out of a scrape" used frequently and is it a catch phrase? Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 20:30
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    Wriggle out of is much more a catch phrase than get out of a scrape. Scrape is nicely idiomatic. Wriggle out of a tight spot might be spot on, I'd say, especially since Выкрутился = twist, and twist and wriggle both describe the same physical action. Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 20:32
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    @SovereignSun - This was published just yesterday.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 21:07
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    @SovereignSun I think that would be acceptable, but I'd stick to the full idiom. He wriggled out of the (embarrassing) situation / tight spot, etc.
    – user3395
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 10:12

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