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.