In hot water


      • in trouble or difficulty
        To be in a difficult or uncomfortable situation, often due to one's own actions or decisions

      • facing consequences
        To be dealing with the negative aftermath of a previous action or decision, often resulting in punishment or reprimand

    Examples of In hot water

    • John accidentally sent an embarrassing email to his entire company. Now he's in hot water with his boss and coworkers.

      This idiom is used to describe a situation where someone is in trouble or facing consequences due to a mistake or wrongdoing. The phrase "in hot water" is derived from the image of being in water that is too hot, which can cause discomfort or harm. In this context, John's mistake has put him in a difficult and uncomfortable position with his colleagues and superiors.


    The idiom "in hot water" is typically used to describe a state of trouble or difficulty. It can refer to a personal situation, such as being in trouble with a friend or family member, or a more serious situation, such as facing legal consequences or repercussions at work. This phrase often implies that the person is responsible for their current predicament and may be facing consequences for their actions.

    Origin of "In hot water"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the 16th century, when bathing was not as common as it is today. In those times, people would heat water in a large pot over a fire and then pour it into a tub for bathing. This process required a lot of time and effort, so it was not something that could be done frequently. As a result, bathing was often seen as a luxury and a special occasion.

    However, if someone were to fall into the hot water while it was being transported, they would be in a very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation. This is likely where the idiom "in hot water" originated from, as it conveys the idea of being in a difficult or uncomfortable situation.

    Over time, the phrase evolved and became more figurative, referring to any kind of trouble or difficulty. Today, it is a commonly used idiom that is understood by English speakers around the world.