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 ?
We intend to invest heavily to enable Keg Logistics to disrupt the market and help craft breweries and wineries around the world thrive.
And California-based Vintap Wine Company offers 16 wines on tap, in both 20-liter, stainless-steel kegs, as well as recyclable bins made of food-grade PET recyclable plastic.
Traditionally an all-male golf society, the KEGS opened up this Scorpio Golf sponsored event to guests, including ladies on the Peter Harradine-designed Par-72 Al Hamra Championship Golf Course in RAK.
We find that wines that are at their best when they are young, with bright fruit notes, show better in kegs.
His Napa neighbor, David Graves of Saintsbury Vineyard, is also shipping Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in similar sized kegs that hold the equivalent of 26 bottles to restaurants and hotels.
Following complaints about faulty equipment, the company also began purchasing and maintaining its own kegs and taps.
The audacious thieves then calmly drove to their second target, Mooneys pub, and loaded up the kegs from there too.
Ricky Atkins, a metal polisher, of Cornwall Avenue, Oldbury, pulled the kegs, from a canal near the Navigation pub and stored them in a warehouse, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
In all, 360 kegs of Guinness and Budweiser and 90 kegs of Carlsberg were taken from the huge distribution complex on the busy Victoria Quay on Wednesday.
The loss of beer kegs is nothing new to beer distributors in New Hampshire.
Indiana recently passed a law to help beer distributors who are losing too many of their beer kegs to the scrap market.
THOUSANDS of beer kegs are being stolen from pubs throughout the UK as thieves cash in on soaring aluminium prices.
All Guinness is now produced at the famous St James's Gate Brewery in Dublin and shipped in tankers via Liverpool to Runcorn where the facility kegs the equivalent of 28m pints a month.
Empty kegs were then returned to the brewery to be refilled before going back on shelves.
A total of 82 kegs were taken by officers from a wholesalers in Anfield after a tip-off.