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

a hot potato

COMMON If a subject or problem is a hot potato, it is very difficult to deal with, especially because it is something that people argue about a lot. When she is faced with a political hot potato such tightening the gun laws, she is not afraid to give her opinion. Pricing policy is another hot potato.
See also: hot, potato

a hot poˈtato

(informal) a very sensitive matter that is difficult or embarrassing to deal with: His resignation is a political hot potato.
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 flip side of this is the social climber, who drops you like a hot potato the minute someone with more clout comes along.
While the conditions are clarified under which prescribed fires will be permitted to go unchecked, this summer's fires have helped warm up another hot potato.
Typical pitfalls in any large organization, explains Kramer, include compartmentalizing or hoarding information, avoiding political hot potato issues, engaging in turf wars, and passing off responsibility to others.
And there's a September Special in store as Hartlepool's Hot Potato Comedy Club kicks off its brand new autumn season by bagging TV comic Bobby Mair to share headline duties.
It's a political hot potato; it's a religious hot potato; it's a parental hot potato," he told the newspaper.
The Dare to be Different event, organised by Hot Potato productions, ran at the Quarry Hill Centre all week for people aged 14-24 with disabilities.
Our intention when we opened The Hot Potato was to make this a very comfortable, casual, friendly environment," adds Erin.
Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares Channel 4 - Friday, 9pm GORDON'S off to America for a new series, stopping off for his first show in The Hot Potato Caf in Philadelphia - with a name like that, there has to be some sort of Irish connection?
In Morpeth there were break-ins at the Pizza Pizza takeaway, the Treasure Chinese restaurant, both on Bridge Street, and an attempted burglary at the Hot Potato takeaway, in Newgate Street, at around the same time.
The issue was been a hot potato with landlords since April 2008, when Local Housing Allowance was introduced for new tenancies to replace the old housing benefit system.
Hot potato shop Wildas has taken steps to ensure people in the region can still afford a healthy, varied meal without breaking the bank.
The actor, who has pancreatic cancer and is a 60-fags-a-day man, said in a recent interview: "When it looks like I may live longer than five minutes I'll drop cigarettes like a hot potato.
EVERY Friday we play special games like Hot Potato.
Joining Anthony, Murray, Sam and Jeff will be their friends Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog and Henry the Octopus, singing and dancing along to Wiggles favourites such as Hot Potato and Rock A Bye Your Bear.
But the highlight performance is set firmly in Memphis, with Curtis relishing Booker T & The MGs soundalike Hot Potato (Piping Hot) - a track that more than lives up to its title.