pull (one's) chestnuts out of the fire

(redirected from pull our chestnuts out of the fire)

pull (one's) chestnuts out of the fire

1. To save one from some difficult or precarious situation. A: "Tom used his clout with the president of the company to keep our department from getting shut down." B: "Wow, he keeps pulling your chestnuts out of the fire, huh?" I can't believe my car broke down on this desolate road late at night. Thank you so much for picking me up—you really pulled my chestnuts out of the fire!
2. To undertake some difficult, unpleasant, or dangerous task that one does not want to do. From the fable of a monkey using a cat's paw to get roasted chestnuts out of a fire so that it did not burn its own hand. The boss wouldn't expose himself to scrutiny from law enforcement by attending an illicit meeting like that in person. I'm sure he'll send one of his lackeys to pull his chestnuts out of the fire. Whenever there are dangerous repairs to be made to the company's machinery, it's always me pulling their chestnuts out of the fire.
See also: chestnut, fire, of, out, pull
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

pull someone's chestnuts out of the fire

or

pull the chestnuts out of the fire

OLD-FASHIONED
If you pull someone's chestnuts out of the fire or pull the chestnuts out of the fire, you save someone from a very difficult situation which they have caused themselves. It's not our business, pulling their chestnuts out of the fire. The President tried to use the CIA to pull the chestnuts out of the fire. Note: This expression is based on the fable of the cat and the monkey. The cat wanted to get some roast chestnuts out of the fire but did not want to burn its paws, so it persuaded the monkey to do the job instead.
See also: chestnut, fire, of, out, pull
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

pull someone's chestnuts out of the fire

succeed in a hazardous undertaking for someone else's benefit.
This expression refers to the fable of a monkey using a cat's paw (or in some versions a dog's paw) to rake out roasting chestnuts from a fire. Cat's paw is sometimes used as a term for someone who is used by another person as a tool or stooge.
See also: chestnut, fire, of, out, pull
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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