j (brainstem) wrote in linguaphiles,

somewhat gassy word ID

hi linguaphiles,

i'm looking for an english term that describes this exact situation: one individual is caught between two conflicting parties, and each party accuses the individual of siding with the other.

in taiwanese/southern min, the term is "oan ong" (not sure of the orthography here). more usefully, in mandarin, the term is yuan1 wang4: yuan is written 冤, and wang may or may not be written 柱 (though zhongwen.com tells me that word is actually zhu4...).

in taiwanese, at least, the term is a verb where the two conflicting parties are the subject and the individual is the object. however, it is always used in the passive and has the connotation of "this is being done to me."

i don't need an english equivalent in usage, though that would be magical, but i just can't think of either words or idioms in ANY form to describe this specific situation. so, any help would be greatly appreciated, whether you can understand the chinese or not. thanks!

edit: thanks for all the responses so far (keep them coming, please!). so far, it isn't looking like english has any common term to describe this specific case. it's so strange to me that this situation must be a universal experience, yet there still exists such differences between the things that languages have and have not made it a priority to latch on to in the lexicon.

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