To be caught up in a situation or with a person to the extent that whatever happens in the situation or to the person also affects you, often disastrously. Think of a scarf getting caught around a spinning shaft. First it gets sucked in, then it spins along with the shaft.
No wonder his life is such a mess. He gets wrapped around the axle with every chaos-junkie that comes his way.
by ?thaW February 13, 2016
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To be confused by something, to the point of paralysis. Imagine driving a car over a wire fence. The fence becomes wrapped around the axle, stopping the car.
This network problem has got me wrapped around the axle.
by MarkfromIL March 31, 2006
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"Jordan is wrapped around the axle because he has to sit on the bench during the game."
by MIL February 28, 2006
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The extant definitions are good; however, no one, so far, has mentioned the origin of the phrase. Here is is, based on a number of years associating with over the road drivers – and a couple of summers running moonshine down the mountains of North Carolina. In the mid-20th century, police would put two rubber hoses, connected to a sensor, across a highway. Speeders triggered the sensor based on how quickly they crossed both hoses. Truckers, often trying to make a living despite the regulations on speed, hated what they called whammys. A clever trucker knew that if he applied the trailer's brakes at the right moment and then released them, he could rip the hoses from the roadway and "wrap them around the axle" of the tractor-trailer.
"I popped that whammy and wrapped around the axle – nearly ripped the box out'a that smokey's front seat."
by BusyGuyInPTC August 4, 2019
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