Posted by ESC on October 27, 2000
In Reply to: Get into hot water posted by Vinnie Rinaldi on October 26, 2000
: Hi... I saw this phrase listed but I've been unable to find the meaning... Anyone know the original meaning and derivation of 'getting into hot water'? thanks!
IN HOT WATER - "Perhaps because hot water is so easily obtainable these days, we think of the figurative hot water, meaning a trouble, a scrape, or a difficulty, as being a modern expression. No, indeed! People first got into trouble thousands of years ago, though English-speaking people didn't refer to it as 'hot water' until about the beginning of the sixteenth century. Possibly the allusion was to the ancient way that unwelcome guests were sometimes warded off - by heaving a kettleful of boiling water, when available, upon troublesome intruders." From "A Hog on Ice" (1948, Harper & Row) by Charles Earle Funk.