There is the rub

“There is (or there’s) the rub” is another idiom used to indicate that there is a problem or difficulty.  That’s the problem would be an accurate “translation” of the idiom.

This is not what "there's the rub" means, pic: © Bobby Flowers |

However, there is a second possible meaning to the idiom rather than meaning there’ the problem, it can also mean “there is the essence.”  These two meaning s are similar but not identical

The idiom dates back to Shakespeare and in his original context both meanings are implied.  However, over time it seems to have been mainly used for expressing the idea of problem/difficulty rather than essence.

If you thought about a back rub or a massage reading about this  idiom you were wrong.  It is another sports related idiom.  Rubs were obstacles in the game of bowls, which divert the ball from its true course.  Shakespeare is believe to have liked that game quite a bit and he uses Bowl-inspired” idioms frequently.

There’s the rub is an idiom that’s is perfectly acceptable in a personal and business setting.


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