hot potato


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hot potato

A sensitive situation or controversial issue that is difficult to handle and thus gets passed from one person to the next (like a potato that is too hot to hold). The political candidate knew the issue was a hot potato, so he deferred to his chief of staff, who directed questions to the committee chairperson.
See also: hot, potato

hot potato

A problem so controversial and sensitive that it is risky to deal with. For example, Gun control is a political hot potato. This term, dating from the mid-1800s, alludes to the only slightly older expression drop like a hot potato, meaning "to abandon something or someone quickly" (lest one be burned). The idiom alludes to the fact that cooked potatoes retain considerable heat because they contain a lot of water.
See also: hot, potato

hot potato

n. a difficult problem. I sure don’t want to have to deal with that hot potato.
See also: hot, potato
References in periodicals archive ?
The Tall Ships Village has been established especially for the event and houses three zones -Earth (trade stands, Hot Potato Cabaret and health marquees), Wind (world market, corporate hospitality and Tall Ships) and Fire (main entertainment stage and main bar).
Hot Potato Comedy Club keeps the laughs coming thick and fast at Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre the following night on Saturday, May 28.
EARLY BIRD CATCHES CHEAPER TICKETS: Mark Steel (right) is at ARC in Stockton a week tonight; while Dave Longley (above) plays Hartlepool's Hot Potato Comedy Club
Tickets are also now on sale for the Hot Potato Christmas special on December 18.
Hot Potato tickets are pounds 11 or pounds 8 for early-bird tickets -available until September 18.
Like all popchips products, the new Crazy Hot Potato and Cinnamon Twist Sweet Potato flavors are created using heat, pressure, and no oil in the popping process.
As well as a live band there will be a hot potato supper, home baked cakes and a charity auction in aid of the charity.
BIN collections continue to be a political hot potato with councils trapped between the need to make cuts and residents who want weekly services to remain.
This has been a political hot potato for some time now but no-one will put their name to any policy which will actually address the issue.
For the first of the new helpings he visits the Hot Potato Caf in Fishtown, Philadelphia.
The owners of the trendy Hot Potato Cafe in Fishtown, Philadelphia feared they'd be skinned alive when celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay walked through their door.
In this first episode, he visits the Hot Potato Cafe in Fishtown, Philadelphia.
It's a political hot potato also, a vote winner for the people who want to revive that part of London.
The pump is mounted directly underneath the drum roller dehydration machine and accepts the hot potato mash.
The cost of staging the London Olympics in 2012 has already become a financial hot potato.