a hot potato
- any subject which several folks are talking about and which is frequently argued
- something that is hard or terrible to handle
- a problem or situation that is difficult to deal with and causes a lot of disagreement
- an issue or question about which people have different opinions and feel very strongly
- a controversial situation that is awkward to deal with
- a delicate or contentious matter which many people do not want to talk about
- The issue of gun control is a political hot potato in the United States.
- The legality of abortion is a hot potato in many countries around the world.
- I never discuss about anyone’s religion, it can be a hot potato.
- The party members are not speaking on this topic as it is a political hot potato.
- The government’s decision to curb benefits to some sections of society is like a hot potato.
The term originated in the mid 1800s and is derived from the slightly older term “to drop like a hot potato”, meaning “to abandon something or someone quickly”. It alludes to the fact that cooked potatoes retain considerable heat because they contain a lot of water.
Idiom of the Day
Meaning: extreme circumstances can only be resolved by equally extreme actions
Example: After the company had posted losses for the third consecutive year, the board decided to replace all of its top management. After all, drastic times call for drastic measures. Read on