A inextricable situation or difficult and pressing problem that often grows worse as one tries to deal with it.
Used as a disparaging term for a black person, especially a dark-skinned black child.
Something that is a persistent encumbrance.
(chiefly US) A difficult, abstract problem that worsens as one attempts to handle it.
Origin of tar-baby
After “Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby ,” an Uncle Remus story by Joel Chandler Harris in which Brer Fox makes a doll out of tar and Brer Rabbit gets stuck in it when he punches it after it does not return his greeting