A phrase meaning to be in trouble. Being in a pickle usualy implies a lighter, less severe form of trouble, as in one which is not hazardous to your health, niether now nor in the immediate future. The origins of this phrase are unknown. It only logically makes sense in that if you consider if you were placed in a vat of pickle juice, or if, say, your finger were somehow stuck into a pickle, it really wouldn't be that much of a problem unless you couldn't swim in the first instance.