A nest of vipers


      • dangerous or toxic situation
        To describe a situation or group of people that is dangerous, harmful, or full of deceit and treachery. Often used in a cautionary or warning sense.

      • untrustworthy or deceitful people
        Referring to a group of people who are not to be trusted or who are known for their deceitful and treacherous behavior. Can also be used to describe a particular individual.

    Examples of A nest of vipers

    • The boardroom meeting turned into a nest of vipers as soon as the CEO announced a new company policy.

      This idiom is used to describe a group of people who are untrustworthy, deceitful, and hostile towards each other. In this example, the meeting became filled with tension and animosity as soon as the CEO introduced a new policy, making the participants behave like a group of venomous snakes.BITE THE BULLET

    • I knew the presentation would be tough, but I had to bite the bullet and give it my best shot.

      This idiom is used to describe a difficult or unpleasant task that must be faced and endured. In this example, the speaker acknowledges that the presentation will be challenging, but decides to confront it head-on rather than avoiding it.LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG

    • My sister accidentally let the cat out of the bag when she told our cousin about my engagement before I could.

      This idiom is used to describe revealing a secret or surprise prematurely. In this example, the speaker's sister inadvertently spoiled the surprise of the engagement by sharing the news with their cousin before the speaker had a chance to do so.COME UP ROSES

    • I'm hoping this project comes up roses, but I'm prepared for the worst-case scenario.

      This idiom is used to describe a positive outcome or successful result. In this example, the speaker is optimistic that the project will turn out well, but is also cautious and prepared for potential problems.THROW SOMEONE UNDER THE BUS

    • I can't believe my boss threw me under the bus in front of the whole team.

      This idiom is used to describe blaming or sacrificing someone else to save oneself or protect one's own interests. In this example, the speaker is upset that their boss publicly blamed them for a mistake or failure in front of their colleagues.


    The idiom "a nest of vipers" is typically used to describe a dangerous or toxic situation, often involving deceit and treachery. It can also refer to a group of untrustworthy or deceitful people. This idiom is often used as a warning or cautionary phrase, advising against involvement in a particular situation or with certain individuals.

    Origin of "A nest of vipers"

    The phrase "a nest of vipers" dates back to ancient Roman times, where it was used to describe a group of people who were plotting against someone. The image of a nest of vipers, or snakes, evokes a sense of danger and deceit, as snakes are often associated with trickery and betrayal.

    In English literature, the idiom was popularized by William Shakespeare in his play "King Henry VI, Part 3." In a scene where two characters are discussing the treacherous behavior of their enemies, one says, "O tiger's heart wrapped in a woman's hide! / How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child / To bid the father wipe his eyes withal, / And yet be seen to bear a woman's face? / Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible; / Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless" (Act 3, Scene 2). The use of the phrase "a nest of vipers" in this context highlights the deceitful and treacherous nature of the characters being discussed.

    Overall, the idiom "a nest of vipers" has been used throughout history to describe dangerous and untrustworthy situations and people, drawing on the negative connotations of snakes. Its origins can be traced back to ancient Rome and it continues to be a popular phrase in literature and everyday language.