stew

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be in a stew

To be worried and flummoxed about something. Mom is in a stew because she just found out that we're hosting all of our relatives for Christmas—which is three days away.
See also: stew

get in(to) a stew

To be or become angry, upset, agitated, anxious, or alarmed over something or someone. John is always getting into a stew over his girlfriend's late nights out. Don't get in a stew with me, I was trying to be helpful! I always get into a stew when I have a big meeting with my managers.
See also: get, stew

horse and rabbit stew

A situation comprising that which is crude or unpleasant as well as that which is pleasing or beneficial, usually with the former in greater proportion to the latter. Used especially in reference to economics or business. The prime minister's plan for the economic recovery is little more than horse and rabbit stew, with a few token stimulus incentives greatly outweighed by draconian austerity measures.
See also: and, horse, rabbit, stew

in a stew

Worried and flummoxed about something. Mom is in a stew because she just found out that we're hosting all of our relatives for Christmas—which is three days away.
See also: stew

in a stew about (someone or something)

Worried and flummoxed about someone or something. Mom is in a stew about all of our relatives suddenly deciding to come visit us three days from now. Try not to get in a stew about me, all right? I'll be fine on this trip.
See also: stew

leave (one) to stew

To allow one to feel fearful, anxious, guilty, etc., without offering them comfort or closure on the matter. After the kids broke the window, I left them to stew in their bedroom for a while before laying into them about it. I can tell that the boss is upset with how my report turned out, but I think he's just leaving me to stew about it before he brings it up.
See also: leave, stew

leave (one) to stew in (one's) own juice(s)

To leave someone alone with their emotions, usually unpleasant ones like guilt, anger, or anxiety, without offering them comfort or closure on the matter. Kevin was in such a foul mood at dinner that I went home early and left him to stew in his own juice. After the kids broke the window, I left them to stew in their own juices for a while before laying into them about it. I can tell that the boss is upset with how my report turned out, but I think he's just leaving me to stew in my own juices about it before he brings it up.
See also: leave, own, stew

let (one) stew

To allow one to feel fearful, anxious, guilty, etc., without offering them comfort or closure on the matter. After the kids broke the window, I let them stew in their bedroom for a while before laying into them about it. I can tell that the boss is upset with how my report turned out, but I think he's just letting me stew about it before he brings it up.
See also: let, stew

let (one) stew in (one's) own juice(s)

To leave one alone with their emotions, usually unpleasant ones like guilt, anger, or anxiety, without offering them comfort or closure on the matter. Kevin was in such a foul mood at dinner that I left early and just let him stew in his own juice. After the kids broke the window, I let them stew in their own juices for a while before laying into them about it. I can tell that the boss is upset with how my report turned out, but I think he's just letting me stew in my own juices about it before he brings it up.
See also: let, own, stew

stew bum

old-fashioned An alcoholic, especially one who is unemployed or homeless. There are always a couple of stew bums hanging around outside the mall begging for spare change. My worst fear is to turn into a stew bum like my dad, so I swore never to touch a drop of alcohol.
See also: bum, stew

stew in (one's) (own) juice(s)

To brood over one's unpleasant emotions, such as guilt, anger, or anxiety, in isolation. Kevin was in such a foul mood at dinner that I left early and just let him stew in his own juice. I can tell the suspect is racked with guilt. Let her stew in her juices for a while, and she'll confess.
See also: stew

stew on a shingle

slang Creamed chipped beef (processed beef that has been salted and dried, served in a white sauce) on top of toast. A traditional staple of military mess halls. Primarily heard in US. I know it isn't a very glamorous meal, but one of my favorite meals growing up was always stew on a shingle! After eight years on active duty, I've had more stew on shingles than I care to recount.
See also: on, shingle, stew

stew zoo

obsolete slang A house or apartment rented by a group of several female flight attendants (formerly known as stewardesses). A crude reference to the stereotype of such women being known for carefree or wild behavior in their personal lives. My grandmother was actually living in one of these stew zoos when she met my grandfather. She had to share it with four other women because it was the only way they could all afford to live in New York City.
See also: stew, zoo

stewed up

1. slang Incensed; irate. It's really not worth getting stewed up about it—just let it go and move on with your life. I could tell the boss was pretty stewed up over the news.
2. slang Drunk. I'm past the point in my life where I want to spend every weekend at a bar getting stewed up. Everyone was too stewed up to drive home, so they all just slept over.
See also: stewed, up

too many cooks spoil the stew

proverb If too many people try to control, influence, or work on something, the final product will be worse as a result. A: "We've got my boss, his boss, the assistant manager, a freelance consultant, and the head of IT all involved in this project, and it's turning into a complete disaster!" B: "Well, too many cooks spoil the stew, after all!"
See also: cook, many, spoil, stew
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

get (oneself) into a stew (over someone or something)

Fig. to be worried or upset about someone or something. Please don't get yourself into a stew over Walter. Liz is the kind of person who gets into a stew over little problems.
See also: get, stew

*in a stew (about someone or something)

Fig. upset or bothered about someone or something. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~.) I'm in such a stew about my dog. She ran away last night. Now, now. Don't get in a stew. She'll be back when she gets hungry.
See also: stew

stew in one's own juice

Fig. to be left alone to suffer one's anger or disappointment. John has such a terrible temper. When he got mad at us, we just let him go away and stew in his own juice. After John stewed in his own juice for a while, he decided to come back and apologize to us.
See also: juice, own, stew

Too many cooks spoil the stew.

 and Too many Cooks spoil the broth.
Prov. Cliché Too many people trying to manage something simply spoil it. Let's decide who is in charge around here. Too many cooks spoil the stew. Everyone is giving orders, but no one is following them! Too many cooks spoil the broth.
See also: cook, many, spoil, stew
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

in a stew

Agitated, alarmed, or anxious. For example, Mary was in a stew about how her cake was going to turn out. It is also put as get in or into a stew , as in Every Saturday the minister got in a stew about Sunday's sermon. This expression transfers the mixture of meat and vegetables constituting a stew to overheated mixed emotions. [c. 1800]
See also: stew

stew in one's own juice

Suffer the consequences of one's actions, as in He's run into debt again, but this time we're leaving him to stew in his own juice. This metaphoric term alludes to cooking something in its own liquid. Versions of it, such as fry in one's own grease, date from Chaucer's time, but the present term dates from the second half of the 1800s.
See also: juice, own, stew
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

in a stew

OLD-FASHIONED
If someone is in a stew, they are very worried about something. He's in a bit of a stew over his exams.
See also: stew

let someone stew in their own juice

or

let someone stew

If you let someone stew in their own juice or let them stew, you deliberately leave them to worry about something they have done and do nothing to comfort or help them. The coach refused to put an arm round the 23-year-old afterwards — choosing, instead, to let Taylor stew in his own juice. Leave her alone — let her stew. Give her time to reflect on how stupid she's been. Note: You can also say that you leave someone to stew. I thought I'd leave him to stew for a while.
See also: juice, let, own, someone, stew
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

in a stew

in a state of great anxiety or agitation. informal
See also: stew

stew in your own juice

suffer the unpleasant consequences of your own actions or temperament without the consoling intervention of others. informal
See also: juice, own, stew
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

be in a ˈstew (about/over something)

,

get (yourself) into a ˈstew (about/over something)

(informal) be/become very worried or nervous (about something): She’s in a stew over what she’s going to wear to the party tonight.
See also: stew

let somebody ˈstew (in their own ˈjuice)

(informal) leave somebody to worry and suffer the unpleasant effects of their own actions: We told her not to trust him but she wouldn’t listen — so let her stew in her own juice!
See also: let, somebody, stew
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

stew

1. n. a drinking bout. These frequent stews must stop. You will ruin your health.
2. n. a drunkard. There are three stews sleeping in the alley.
3. Go to stewed (up).
4. n. a stewardess or steward on an airplane. (Although officially replaced by flight attendat, this term and steward(ess) are still in use.) My sister is a stew for a major airline.
5. in. to fret. I spent most of last night stewing about my job.
6. n. a fretful state. Don’t work yourself into a stew.

stew bum

n. a drunkard; an alcoholic. You’re going to end up a stew bum if you don’t lay off the moonshine.
See also: bum, stew

stewed (up)

and stew
mod. alcohol intoxicated. (see also stew (sense 1).) The kid was stewed up and scared to death of what his parents were going to do to him.
See also: stewed, up

stew

verb
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

stew in one's own juice, left to

Abandoned to suffer the consequences of one’s own actions. Chaucer had a version of this expression in The Canterbury Tales (The Wife of Bath’s Tale): “In his own gress [grease] I made him frie for anger and for very jalousie.” A closer equivalent was Henry Carey’s version (Advertisements from Parnassus, 1656): “He could not better discover Hypocrites than by suffering them (like Oysters) to stew in their own water.” The exact modern wording dates from the second half of the nineteenth century.
See also: left, own, stew
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

stew zoo

An apartment house in which many female flight attendants lived. Back in prepolitically correct days, female flight attendants were called “stewardesses” and had the reputation for being attractive and, even better to the male mind, “fun” (Frank Sinatra's hit ballad “Come Fly with Me” became something of an anthem). Stewardesses (or a many self-styled hip males called them “stewardii”) shared apartments, a rentsaving arrangement that appealed to their lifestyle because one or more was usually traveling. Apartment buildings in large cities, especially ones with easy access to airports, that attracted the young women were known as “stew zoos.”
See also: stew, zoo
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
The only way the club could afford to bring Stewy in was to let me * STEWY: Exeter City go and, by the time I came back to the club, Marcus had been controversially sold on to Ipswich.
"Eriksson must pick his best players and that means Stewy. They have Wayne Bridge on the left but he's not a midfielder - he's a defender."
Stewy Bulmer and Mick Hovvels, left, from Spennymoor, who have been truckers for 30 years, with Barry May TERRY BLACKBURN
"Stewy will get a great reception from our fans for what he did for this club and that will help to add to the atmosphere," said Worthington today.
Stewy showed no nerves yesterday as he took England to 512 all out and a commanding position from which to win the series - although Sri Lanka fought back to 130-1 at the close.
On his match winner, Forshaw said: "We kept probing, Stewy (Downing) had a good chance, (David) Nugent had a header when he came on, a few balls flashed across the box, Albert (Adomah) had a chance early in the half.
Both the men's and women's team managers, Stewy Bell and Lynn Cooper, were naturally delighted with not only the senior athlete's performances but with many of the younger agegroup runners who lined up for their county.
"To the fans it looks terrible and he should have scored but I have a little bit of sympathy for Stewy.
He's our most reliable defensive defenceman and while it wasn't ideal to throw him and Stewy in the game against Nottingham, we needed them in the side.
Paul Given of Sunderland easily won the individual race from medium pack runner, Stewy Bell of Chester-le-Street.
Division two side Willaston had Mike Mosedale (2) to thank for their 2-1 victory over Linotype, while Castrol Social's Stewy Carroll hit six in the 17-0 blitz of St Werburghs.
But after local Stewy Bell tired, the 19-year-old Ethiopian world cross country champion, stepped up the tempo to win by nine seconds.
"I've made that move down a division and so has Stewy (Downing) and we're both determined to make an impression here.
"I truly enjoyed the experience and I have to thank firstly the selectors for having faith in me and then Stewy who has been in constant touch since I was named."
"We've bought some big characters in Richard Dunne and Stephen Warnock and the likes of Stewy Downing as well, who's a great player.