Meaning of awkward squad in English:

awkward squad


  • A set of people within an organization or team who tend to behave in an obstructive way or express opposition or dissent.

    ‘he revels just a little too much in his membership of the awkward squad’
    • ‘Too many hostile journalists have already consigned him to the ranks of the awkward squad.’
    • ‘The Government whips of the day knew I would never be a member of the awkward squad.’
    • ‘His parents were the village awkward squad, anti-socialists in a community of socialists, who built fences to separate them from other, more gregarious pioneers.’
    • ‘He claims his agenda is industrial rather than political but observers say he will fit in with the new awkward squad of younger, more militant union leaders.’
    • ‘They need to learn to deal with the awkward squad, because, at some time in their lives, they are bound to meet people like that.’
    • ‘It is harder to see why that should be so attractive to the awkward squad of left-wing Labour MPs on the back benches.’
    • ‘He became the first leader of a large union to swell the ranks of the awkward squad and was the first indicator that the unions were turning against New Labour.’
    • ‘The Brits are seen, even by former friends, as outsiders and leaders of the awkward squad.’
    • ‘Once described as a one-man awkward squad, Bennett is nothing if not prickly and morally unforgiving.’
    • ‘They are probably quite happy with their extra income and it is only when the awkward squad makes waves that they even bother to comment.’


Late 18th century apparently with reference to military recruits.