in a stew

Idioms & Phrases

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]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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