a hornet's nest

hornet's nest

1. A dangerous, complicated situation. If we do invade, I fear that we will find ourselves in a real hornet's nest.
2. A situation that produces angry reactions. The politician's off-the-cuff remark about pollution stirred up a hornet's nest among environmentalists.
See also: nest

a ˈhornet’s nest

a lot of trouble: When Charles got the manager’s job, it stirred up a real hornet’s nest, because everyone was angry about his fast promotion.
A hornet is a large wasp that has a very powerful sting.
See also: nest
References in classic literature ?
"Oh, ho," he said, "a nest of revolutionists--and quite a hornet's nest it would seem.
We got a splendid stock of sorted spiders, and bugs, and frogs, and caterpillars, and one thing or another; and we like to got a hornet's nest, but we didn't.
"I have a respect for you, but if you were alone in this business I'd think twice before I put my head into such a hornet's nest. It's Lucy that brings me here, and before harm comes on her I guess there will be one less o' the Hope family in Utah."
Said Mang, "The village of the Man-Pack, where they cast out the Man-cub, hums like a hornet's nest."
"It was a big stone that I threw," chuckled Mowgli, who had often amused himself by throwing ripe paw-paws into a hornet's nest, and racing off to the nearest pool before the hornets caught him.
We had a hornet's nest on our hands, and to stop at Collinsville would be to have it about our ears.
Just as I thought that I had finished, and was only too glad that I had laid this question to sleep, and was reflecting how fortunate I was in your acceptance of what I then said, you ask me to begin again at the very foundation, ignorant of what a hornet's nest of words you are stirring.
New Delhi [India], May 10 (ANI): Stirring a hornet's nest, Karnataka BJP president B S Yeddyurappa on Friday said that over 20 Congress lawmakers in the state are unhappy with the incumbent government.
For paper wasps, that means no closer than 4 or 5 feet from the nest, and 10 to 15 feet for a hornet's nest. Yellow jackets will get excited if you step on their nest entrance or approach it with a lawnmower.
"To attempt to have intercourse with a hornet's nest is a very bad idea," Siv During Livh, a psychologist and expert on sex fantasies told the news website.
If a wasp flies into an area and sees a hornet's nest it will vacate the area, so make your own hornet's nest by taking any brown paper bag and blowing it up.
1 The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (Transworld, pounds 18.99) 2 The Girl Who Kicked A Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (Quercus, pounds 18.99) 3 Saturday Night Peter by Peter Kay (Arrow, pounds 20) 4 Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett (Transworld, pounds 18.99) 5 Driven To Distraction by Jeremy Clarkson (Penguin, pounds 20) 6 Guinness World Records 2010 (Guinness World Records, pounds 20) 7 The Making Of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr (Macmillan, pounds 25) 8 Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (Vintage, pounds 18.99) 9 The Book Of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern (Harper Collins, pounds 14.99) 10 Hell's Heroes by Darren Shan (Harper Collins, pounds 12.99) * List compiled by Waterstones, Captain Cook Square, Middlesbrough
It may be a hornet's nest and frightfully un-PC, but surely reader Phil McCusker has a point?
CHIEF Constable Terry Grange has stirred up a hornet's nest with his comments about sex and teenagers.
Although resolutions do not have the force of law, this one has stirred up quite a hornet's nest.