There’s The Rub Meaning: What does this Useful Idiom Mean?

The phrase “there’s the rub” may be a phrase that you encounter in some everyday informal conversation or writing. Here you will find the meaning of this phrase and the information regarding its origin. You will also find some examples of how to properly use this phrase in conversations/statements and you will also find alternative ways to say this phrase while still conveying the same meaning.

There’s The Rub

There’s The Rub Meaning

The interesting idiom “there’s the rub” means the largest issue or problem in a situation.

Origin of this idiom

The phrase “there’s the rub” originated from the play Hamlet written by William Shakespeare in the year 1599. The phrase was part of the speech given by the title character himself as he was contemplating suicide. The phrase has been used ever since.

“There’s The Rub” Examples

Example Statements

A statement made in the local paper about planned improvements to the city.

  • “Local officials say that if they don’t fix the problem with the bridge now, the structural integrity of the bridge could further deteriorate. Closing the bridge will cause massive delays on surrounding roads, but is worth the headache to ensure safety. There’s the rub of it.”

A statement made by a celebrity during an interview with a well-known entertainment magazine.

  • “My temper can be quick sometimes and I can be problematic on set. Now, it has cost me a job and is jeopardizing my future in the business. There’s the rub of it.”

Example Conversations

A conversation at a weekly team meeting between team members working on a project.

  • Team member 1: We have some ongoing issues with the project.
  • Team member 2: Yes, the IT department is falling behind on their end.
  • Team member 3: The engineering department is falling way behind as well.
  • Team member 4: If they don’t pick up the pace, then marketing will fall behind as well.
  • Team leader: Hmmm, there’s the rub of it. Okay, I will call a meeting of all the department heads and see how to resolve the problem.

A conversation between a mother, father, and son.

  • Father: Nate, we need to talk.
  • Mother: Yes, your behavior has been out of control lately and it is causing your me and your father to pull our hair out.
  • Son: Really mom? I break curfew once and you’re pulling your hair out?
  • Mother: Don’t backtalk me, Nate! We need to address this!
  • Father: Look, your behavior is just unacceptable. The next time you break curfew, you are grounded for a month. There’s the rub of it! Period! End of discussion!

Other Ways to Say “There’s The Rub”

As with most phrases, there are multiple ways to say “there’s the rub” and still convey the same meaning. Alternative ways you can say this phrase include:

  • That’s the just of it
  • That’s the situation
  • There’s the problem/or the problematic ramifications

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