get in(to) hot water(redirected from they were getting in hot water)
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get in(to) hot water
To provoke or incite anger, hostility, or punishment against oneself; to cause or encounter trouble or difficulty, especially that which will result in punishment or reprisal. I got into a bit of hot water with Janice last night when she found out I'd been drinking all night. The senator has gotten into hot water with constituents over his callous remarks.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
get into hot water, to
To get in trouble, or into an embarrassing situation. Presumably the allusion here is to water hot enough to burn one. Although Lord Malmesbury wrote in a letter in 1765, “We are kept, to use the modern phrase, in hot water,” the term had appeared in print more than two centuries earlier. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was put as “to cost hot water.” It was probably already a cliché by the time it appeared in Richard H. Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast (1840): “He was always getting into hot water.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer