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Have someone by the short and curlies (or short hair) have complete control of a person (originally as military slang, referring to pubic hair).

the short end of the stick an outcome in which one has less advantage than others.

a short horse is soon curried proverbial saying, mid 14th century; meaning that a slight task is soon completed (literally, that it does not take long to rub down a short horse with a curry-comb).

Short Parliament the first of two parliaments summoned by Charles I in 1640 (the other being the Long Parliament). Due to its insistence on seeking a general redress of grievances against him before granting the money he required, Charles dismissed it after only three weeks.

short reckonings make long friends proverbial saying, mid 16th century; meaning that the prompt settlement of any debt between friends ensures that their friendship will not be damaged.

short, sharp shock a brief but harsh custodial sentence handed down to an offender in an attempt to discourage them from committing further offences. The term attained a high profile in the UK in the early 1980s, following a recommendation to the 1979 Conservative Party Conference of the introduction of a regime of this kind to be applied to young offenders.

short shrift rapid and unsympathetic dismissal; curt treatment; the phrase originally meant little time for a criminal to make his confession and be shriven (confessed and absolved) between condemnation and execution or punishment.

See also art is long and life is short, draw the short straw.

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