(n.) Devil's bargain, (alternatively) Devil's own bargain:
An extremely bad deal, with a terrible price to pay, which someone considers accepting because they can see no other way out of a truly horrible situation.
Let's hope their friends can think of some better idea!
He knew she was offering a Devil's bargain, but he would do anything to get the medicine for his wife.
"If you marry that man to put a roof over your children's head, you will be getting the Devil's own bargain, because he does not love them, and he never will."
"bound for Hell" is an adjective that is used seriously to warn people off of someone -- or to slyly dismiss him or her as being so self-destructive that they are past the point where anyone could possibly help them get onto a path that might lead them to a happy, respected life doing things they like, and maximizing their own abilities.
When Karla helped to set her own sister up to be murdered, we knew she was bound for Hell.
Some selfish parents are too sly to use the words "bound for Hell", but they manage to convey the same idea with whiny phrases like "we've tried absolutely everything," in order to avoid the hard work, and expense, of engaging with their teenager to help turn him or her around.
(verb) to wrong-foot someone means to manipulate the situation to make an innocent person look bad, guilty. or inept. Often used by sly people to deflect the blame they deserve onto someone else, or to win a promotion at work, or to steal someone else's mate by making their rival look less desireable.
"Charlie was scamming hundreds of dollars on his expense account -- but when I pointed this out to the boss, Charlie wrong-footed me and somehow I got the blame! Unbelieveable!"
Denise knew the end of her relationship with Joe was coming when Charlene wrong-footed her, telling a party story that made it look like Denise got drunk when she hadn't...which just happens to be one of Joe's freakout points.
n: Someone who celebrates life in all its messy, offbeat, fresh and exciting glory! (also adj, as in "maximalist decor.")
Because she's an unabashed maximalist, Dawn's decor is always a joyous explosion of colors and textures, her living room an edgy, eclectic refuge from the ghastly "tyranny of good taste" that sometimes threatens to flood North America with a beige too far.
Being a maximalist, Sarah enjoys a wide variety of friendships with people of all colors, shapes, sizes, genders, outlooks, and fashion preferences -- boho to preppie to goth to motorcycle to suzie creamcheese.
(verb) to take a reading is to check out a particular situation in a small way, in order to get an accurate idea of someone's character, usually for the future when the stakes may be higher. The person who is curious may do this deliberately -- or accidentally, for example by observing how a certain person treats others.
Friend #1: "Should I loan Alex my car?"
Friend #2: "Didn't you take a reading last year, when he borrowed your bike and returned it all beat up?"
Friend #3: "Yeah, David definitely seemed like the man of my dreams, but I had to take a reading when he was rude to our waitstaff."
Friend #4: "OMG, how pathetic!"
(adj.) capricious, impossible to understand logically, vain or foolish. Often used to describe a choice no one would prefer, if he or she was thinking clearly.
Friend #1: What? Your high-school English teacher made your class study King Lear for your Shakespeare play and learn all about old age and inheritance struggles? Hey instead, you could have been reading Romeo and Juliet and learning about teenage stuff like bleeding love, unreasonable parents, irresponsible advisors, and roving gangs of testosterone-fuelled hotheads!
Friend #2: Well yeah, her choice was pretty random...we told her so, but she wouldn't listen to us! It was a long two months....
This wonderful ironic phrase is used to describe someone who is acting as if Fate has just dealt him or her a terrible blow, when they have, in reality, suffered a minor inconvenience and should just get on with it.
On the other hand, "hard done by" should NEVER be used to describe someone who is trying to recover from a genuinely tragic event.
Friend #1: "I can't believe the way Bob has been acting all hard done by, ever since he had to pay to get his roof fixed."
Friend #2: "it's pathetic all right...."
Friend #3: "I can't believe how hard done by Jessica has been acting lately."
Friend #4: "Well what do you expect? her brother just died! Isn't that kind of low, calling her names when something so terrible has happened?" (storms off.)