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Meaning of "hot potato"



 
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Meaning of "hot potato" #1 (permalink) Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:09 am   Meaning of "hot potato"
 

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #202 "Idioms about Food", question 8

The trial turned out to be 'a hot potato' that everyone at the table was thinking about. What does 'a hot potato' mean? ..........

(a) A topic that is very controversial
(b) A topic that is easy to answer/solve
(c) A topic that people are indifferent about because they want to eat

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #202 "Idioms about Food", answer 8

The trial turned out to be 'a hot potato' that everyone at the table was thinking about. What does 'a hot potato' mean? A topic that is very controversial.

Correct answer: (a) A topic that is very controversial
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what does "hot potato" mean?

Oksana
Oksana
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Potato #2 (permalink) Mon Jul 24, 2006 9:48 am   Potato
 

Hi Oksana,

A hot potato can be a problem or a situation which you find difficult to deal with. You could for example be asked in your job to find a solution to a dispute/argument between two of your colleagues. If you help one, the other will be angry and you gradually realise that you cannot win. All you really want to do is pass the problem on to another person because it is too hot for you to handle. You can imagine the picture of people not wanting literally to touch a hot potato and so it is passed from one pair of hands to another.

Alan
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