in hot water

in hot water

Meaning

  • in trouble or state of shame
  • find yourself in a serious situation where you could be punished
  • incite hostility or trouble of some kind where there will be a reprisal
  • provoke anger by your actions and open yourself up to criticism or disgrace

Example Sentences

  1. The opposition leader landed himself in a whole load of hot water after making several vulgar comments.
  2. Mick was in hot water with his mother because he took her car without asking.
  3. A construction company in hot water after building collapse.
  4. Harry had to work overtime to bring all his accounts up to date before he got into hot water with his boss.
  5. I’m in so much hot water for being late home last night. I might be grounded for a month.
  6. The press has got itself into hot water over the alleged phone hacking by certain reporters.
  7. A shopkeeper got himself in hot water after being accused of selling fake products.

Origin

Dating back to at least the 1600s, this phrase alludes the being in water hot enough to burn. There was a custom in ancient times of pouring a pan or cauldron full of boiling water on unwelcome intruders or enemies to get them to retreat. This could be from the upstairs window of a house or maybe from a castle wall.

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put your foot in it

Meaning: say something (by mistake) that upsets, humiliates, or embarrasses someone

Example: Carla put her foot right in it when she congratulated her neighbour on being pregnant. It turns out she's not expecting but had just put on weight. Read on

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