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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

To be in hot water

Context #1: James is met at home by his angry mother

Mother: You are in hot water, young man!
James: Why? What did I do?
Mother: You took the car without asking. Now you come home – and it’s 2:00 am! You didn’t call or tell me where you were!
James: But, Mom, I couldn’t tell you; I went to a SURPRISE party!
Mother: Well, surprise! You’re grounded!

Context #2: Doreen and Tom are in school talking about their classmate, Gina

Doreen: Can you believe Gina? She’s not here again.
Tom: Do you think the teacher notices?
Doreen: Oh yeah! Mrs. Lynch told Gina that she’d be in hot water if she missed another class.

Meaning: to be in trouble. “Hot water” is a bad situation. We have many idioms that connect “hot” things with difficult situations: “out of the frying pan and into the fire” and “feel the heat” are two others.

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  1. Thanks a whole lot for sharing, guys ... Can't wait for more ... You're the best ...
    Can we also use phrases like 'in a pickle' 'in a tight spot' and 'up the creek' in the same type of situation? (we often hear these expressions from our US peers when we chat with them online) ... Keep up the good work!

    Russian ESL students

  2. Thanks! ;-) Yes, you can use them in the same type of situation.