tar baby
noun Etymology: from the tar baby that trapped Brer Rabbit in an Uncle Remus story by Joel Chandler Harris Date: circa 1910 something from which it is nearly impossible to extricate oneself

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tar baby — was a doll made of tar and turpentine, used to entrap Br er Rabbit in the second of the Uncle Remus stories. The more that Br er Rabbit fought the Tar Baby, the more entangled he became. In contemporary usage, tar baby refers to any sticky… …   Wikipedia

  • tar baby — A tar baby is a problem that gets worse when people try to sort it out …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • tar baby — ☆ tar baby n. [after a small, sticky tar figure in a story by Joel Chandler Harris] something that is a persistent encumbrance …   English World dictionary

  • Tar-Baby — ▪ African American folktale  sticky tar doll, the central figure in black American folktales popularized in written literature by the American author Joel Chandler Harris (Harris, Joel Chandler). Harris “Tar Baby” (1879), one of the animal tales… …   Universalium

  • tar baby — ˈ ̷ ̷ ˌ ̷ ̷  ̷ ̷ noun Etymology: from Tar Baby, doll made of tar in which Brer Rabbit becomes entangled in a story by Joel Chandler Harris died 1908 American writer : something from which it is nearly impossible to extricate oneself the issue… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Tar\ Baby — Noun A person that behaves exactly like oneself, a kindrid spirit. Someone you know you can love forever and ever. A person who makes life seem like it s so easy. Ryan is my tar baby. He s so much like me …   Dictionary of american slang

  • Tar\ Baby — Noun A person that behaves exactly like oneself, a kindrid spirit. Someone you know you can love forever and ever. A person who makes life seem like it s so easy. Ryan is my tar baby. He s so much like me …   Dictionary of american slang

  • tar baby —    This term refers to a sticky situation or problem for which it is virtually impossible to find a solution.     He was advised not to get involved in the controversy which was considered a tar baby issue …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • tar baby — tar′ ba by n. cvb an inextricable problem or situation • Etymology: after the tar doll in an Uncle Remus story (1881) of J. C. Harris …   From formal English to slang

  • tar baby — a situation, problem, or the like, that is almost impossible to solve or to break away from. Also, tarbaby. [after the tar doll used to trap Brer Rabbit in an Uncle Remus story (1881) of Joel Chandler Harris] * * * …   Universalium

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