keg

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powder keg

A situation that could quickly become very volatile and dangerous. It became obvious we were sitting on a powder keg as the protests in the city became more frequent.
See also: keg, powder

sitting on a powder keg

Fig. in a risky or explosive situation; in a situation where something serious or dangerous may happen at any time. (A powder keg is a keg of gunpowder.) Things are very tense at work. The whole office is sitting on a powder keg. The fire at the oilfield seems to be under control for now, but all the workers there are sitting on a powder keg.
See also: keg, on, powder, sitting

a powder keg

a situation that could suddenly become extremely dangerous
Usage notes: A powder keg was a wooden container for gunpowder (= a substance used for making explosions).
We left just before the revolution, realizing that we were sitting on a powder keg.
See also: keg, powder

sitting on a powder keg

In imminent danger, in an explosive situation, as in Our office is sitting on a powder keg while management decides whether or not to close us down . This metaphoric term alludes to sitting on a keg of gunpowder that could go off at any moment. [First half of 1900s]
See also: keg, on, powder, sitting

keg

n. a beer belly. If you didn’t drink so much beer, you wouldn’t have such a keg.

keg party

n. a party where liquor, especially beer, is served. The keg party ended early owing to the arrival of uninvited nabs.
See also: keg, party

sitting on a powder keg

In imminent danger. This phrase that arose in the early 19th century (if not before) suggests being atop a barrel of gunpowder that could explode at any time.
See also: keg, on, powder, sitting
References in periodicals archive ?
To allow tap wine to stand on its own, Schneider recommends integrating kegged wine with the other by-the-glass options on the menu, rather than on its own section.
We encourage establishments to offer their customers a small tasting before they commit to a glass," recommends Tim Ebner, vice president of marketing and business development for kegged wine storage and delivery systems provider Perlick.
Some believe that kegged wines are part of a paradigm shift that is here to stay.
Most wines that work well under screw tap--those that are meant to be consumed within two years--work in keg format, says Bruce Schneider, cofounder of kegged wine supplier Gotham Project "The goal is the same: to preserve the primary fruit flavors, aromas and freshness in young white, rose and red wines.
Schneider, also believes red wines with light to medium tannins and oak profiles are conducive to being kegged, rather than those intended for longterm aging.
But that's due to kegged wines being a relatively new trend, he says.