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 ?
Peter Vincent of promoters Ten Feet Tall, who work alongside the Town Hall Theatre to bring Hot Potato to Hartlepool, said: "It's always a sure sign that spring's in the air when Hot Potato is ready to kick off again, and this year is looking good already.
Teesside's comedy clubs all return for a brand new season in 2014, with Stockton's Catch 22 on Friday, January 31, Middlesbrough's Big Mouth and Saltburn's Brass Neck on Saturday, February 1 and Hartlepool's Hot Potato on Saturday, February 22.
Hot Potato, Catch 22, Big Mouth and Brass Neck all have the best crowds you could hope for."
| Hot Potato Comedy Club Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre - Saturday, July 27 Matt Reed, John Hastings and Rich Wilson Tickets PS6 early-bird and PS9/PS8 in week of show.
Joining Anthony, Murray, Greg and Jeff are their friends Captain Feathers word, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog and Henry the Octopus, dancing along to Wiggles' favourites such as Hot Potato and Rock A Bye Your Bear.
Until they can decide how to handle this hot potato, a period of silence on the part of Mr Blunkett would be most acceptable.
And now the hugely popular compere at Middlesbrough's Big Mouth, Stockton's Catch 22, Hartlepool's Hot Potato and Saltburn's Brass Neck Comedy Clubs is hitting the stage with his own one-off solo show at Stockton's ARC on Saturday, April 13.
SANTA has bagged a sackful of Christmas Crackers for Teesside comedy fans this year, with Middlesbrough's Big Mouth, Stockton's Catch 22, Hartlepool's Hot Potato and Saltburn's Brass Neck Comedy Clubs all getting the tinsel ready for the party season.
I'll have a smart bomb in your lap faster than you can play hot potato with it."
COMEDY fans in Hartlepool are in for a bagful of Saturday night giggles right throughout the rest of the year, thanks to the new autumn season of the town's Hot Potato Comedy Club.
This political hot potato is all the tastier for being based on real events.
HARTLEPOOL comedy fans have a rib-tickling feast of Saturday gigs to look forward to over the next few months with a brand new season of Hot Potato Comedy Club nights.
It's a political hot potato and we want it brought on to the election agenda."
TEESSIDE comedy fans have a great bank holiday weekend to look forward to - with great line-ups at Stockton's Catch 22 and Hartlepool's Hot Potato Comedy Clubs on consecutive nights.
One investigator said: "The information was treated like a hot potato. It was five days before we got a search warrant."