rock the boat

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rock the boat

To do or say something that might endanger a stable situation or upset the status quo. None of my family members are fighting with each other right now, so please don't rock the boat by bringing up politics or any other controversial topics. Many people feel the newspaper is too soft on the government and never rocks the boat when asking questions directly to the politicians.
See also: boat, rock

rock the boat

 
1. Lit. to do something to move a boat from side to side, causing it to rock. (Often in a negative sense.) Sit down and stop rocking the boat. You'll turn it over!
2. Fig. to cause trouble where none is welcome; to disturb a situation that is otherwise stable and satisfactory. (Often negative.) Look, Tom, everything is going fine here. Don't rock the boat! You can depend on Tom to mess things up by rocking the boat.
See also: boat, rock

rock the boat

Disturb a stable situation, as in An easygoing manager, he won't rock the boat unless it's absolutely necessary. This idiom alludes to capsizing a small vessel, such as a canoe, by moving about in it too violently. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
See also: boat, rock

rock the boat

COMMON If someone rocks the boat, they do something which causes trouble or problems in a stable situation. He was careful not to rock the boat with any criticism. Diplomats are expecting so much instability after his death that they argue it's unwise to rock the boat now. Note: You can also talk about boat-rocking. I'm sometimes critical of the organization, which is seen as boat-rocking, upsetting a comfortable arrangement.
See also: boat, rock

rock the boat

say or do something to disturb an existing situation and upset other people. informal
1999 Times The six candidates are so determined not to rock the boat that they are in danger of saying nothing of interest.
See also: boat, rock

rock the ˈboat

(informal) do something that might upset somebody/something, cause problems or change the balance of a situation in some way: Politicians who are prepared to rock the boat are popular with newspapers but not with their parties.
See also: boat, rock

rock the boat

To disturb the balance or routine of a situation: He has an easygoing managerial style and won't rock the boat unless absolutely necessary.
See also: boat, rock

rock the boat, to

To disturb a stable situation. The analogy here is to capsizing a small craft, such as a canoe, by moving about carelessly. Current on both sides of the Atlantic since the 1920s, it became the title of a song, “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” in the popular musical comedy Guys and Dolls (1950) by Frank Loesser. The song, performed on Broadway by Stubby Kaye in the role of Nicely-Nicely, was a consistent showstopper and did much to popularize the term.
See also: rock
References in periodicals archive ?
A spokesman for Holyhead coastguard said: "They were standing up and rocking the boat, which could have easily tipped over.
Rocking the Boat serves the youth of Hunts Point in the Bronx, and in the mix are kids from many different races and cultures.
Rocking the boat means getting out of your comfort zone.
Amin Faheem, the PPP's vice chairman, said in a weekend interview with Kyodo News that his party, poised to head a coalition government resulting from last week's general election, is not in favor of rocking the boat when it comes to dealing with Musharraf.
[Regarding "Rocking the Boat," by Rose Marie Berger, March 2007] I have no calling to the priesthood, but I know some women who certainly seem to.
"John Connolly has done well, but there's no way I'll be rocking the boat - I'm as desperate as the next player to see Cliftonville do well.
If you want to see a performer who is totally unfettered by careerist desires or fear of rocking the boat, Jerry is your man.
Collins' cliches that depict critics of local politics as 'rocking the boat' and 'thorns in the side' of the ruling elite betray a Berlusconi-like contempt for democratic decision-making.
Sheppard of Sharp, Smith, & Harrison, P.A., in Tampa had the following articles published: "The Impact of Recent Events on Section 911: Rocking the Boat or Capsizing the Vessel?" in Tax Notes International and Worldwide Tax Daily; "The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion: U.S.
The next step was to criticize me personally because I was rocking the boat. So my name was besmirched, something which continued in one form or another right up to the collapse of communism.'
It's true that rocking the boat can be more interesting than rowing because it is more dramatic.
Calling cards expedited the courting process without rocking the boat too much.
In Rocking the Boat we hear from eleven female trade union activists who were among the first women to achieve high-ranking positions in their unions and to play prominent public roles in the labor movement throughout the first three-quarters of the twentieth century.
fought and won a case against her former lover but complained that she was snubbed by some gays and lesbians who saw her case as "rocking the boat" in the sensitive arena of family law.
Every Saturday during the week's winner ALEX Neil, SNP MSP, tells us that he supported Leave but did not want to make his choice public for fear of rocking the boat.