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hot potato

Informal. a situation or issue that is difficult, unpleasant, or risky to deal with.
British Informal. a baked potato.
Origin of hot potato
1840-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for hot-potato

hot potato

(slang) an awkward or delicate matter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for hot-potato

hot potato

noun phrase

Something embarrassing and troublesome; a tricky and sticky matter: Everyone can see how the boss looks when he handles a hot potato (1846+)

Related Terms

drop someone or something like a hot potato

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with 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.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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