Meaning of fall between two stools in English:

fall between two stools


  • Fail to be or take one of two satisfactory alternatives.

    ‘the work fell between two stools, being neither genuinely popular nor truly scholarly’
    • ‘In certain instances, this is the book's weakness in that it falls between two stools, being truly neither one nor the other.’
    • ‘We seem to fall between two stools because the modern premises that we would like to move into are far too expensive and the older mill buildings tend to have water gushing in through the roof.’
    • ‘I felt that the game fell between two stools in that it was supposed to be scary yet it presented itself as an extremely tacky 1950s horror film.’
    • ‘This car falls between two stools for me: it's not a proper sports car or a proper family car and for this money you could afford to get a nice one of each and probably have money left over for a nice motorbike too.’
    • ‘For some critics, the romanzo-saggio falls between two stools: it is neither exacting philosophy nor complex fiction.’
    • ‘The play falls between two stools; social commentary and outright melodrama and does not sit happily on either.’
    • ‘Talking about his book during a recent visit to Chennai, the author suggested it ran the risk of falling between two stools since cricket fans may think it had too much history and historians may feel it has too much cricket.’
    • ‘Endeavouring to answer the needs of a severely underfed local academic discourse, yet at the same time attempting to provide an introduction to a broader audience, it sometimes falls between two stools.’
    • ‘Ill-defined, the show falls between two stools.’
    • ‘It is not uncommon to see such works falling between two stools: they are political statements, yet because they are works of art their political message is thought to be exempt from rigorous examination.’