I was suggested Drop someone in it but I need a simpler phrase that is more commonly used.

  • I've never heard of this phrase before. I looked it up and found it with a note: "British" "Informal". Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 22:06
  • 1
    It's very commonly used here in Australia and in the UK, it's a truncation of dropping someone in the .... (insert unpleasant substance of choice - usually sh*t). A personal favorite, a sporting metaphor, is to give someone a 'hospital pass'
    – PerryW
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 6:48

3 Answers 3


You really "got him into trouble" when you "told on him" or "ratted on him" (slang). Those would be specific replacements for the phrase you linked to. "Set him up" works too, but that suggests that you are going to do something that gets the person caught doing it again. (Or you have done that - keeping the same tense)

The original phrase you linked to is not a commonly used phrase in the US.


How about these :

  1. Put someone in a pickle.
  2. Prey on someone's mind
  3. Drag someone into a mess
  • They are fine but they are too lengthy. I have found what I was looking for - "set someone up"
    – Sandeep D
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 13:06
  • Why don't you include it as an answer then? It may help others.
    – Adil Ali
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 13:09
  • 2
    @SandeepDhamija where did you find it? set someone up does not mean putting someone into a trouble.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 13:25
  • If you "set s.o. up, you trap them, you frame them, it's a very particular way of putting s.o. into trouble, it implies a voluntary mischievous premeditated action.
    – None
    Commented Mar 18, 2014 at 14:16
  • You might say 'to set someone up (for a fall)', meaning that they'll get into trouble some time in the future. Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 8:05




Gaslighting: usual tactics in some families. Psychological abuse of distorting information (in other words, the truth), to create anxiety and confusion in which the victim questions their own sense of reality.

PNR (Point of No Return): used in aviation industry in reference to fuel levels in aircraft, obviously.

Euphemisms (notably military) are a good source too. Some examples: - Pre-emptive strike - Neutralize ('kill' the threat) - Target(s) of opportunity (assassination) - Surgical strike (use of guided munitions, or rumors in this case). - Area denial munitions (or in this case, a restraint order). - Friendly fire (on former friends and family members).

Resources are unlimited, just need to research a bit is all...

  • Those are all words for specific types of trouble to get into, or ways to get someone into trouble, not the general idea of "getting into trouble", per se. Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 7:07

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