Stir the pot

Posted by Bob on January 02, 2001

In Reply to: Stir the pot posted by Patty on January 02, 2001

: What does the phrase "to stir the pot" generally mean? And does it mean to be in some way deliberately provocative or irritating? Thanks. - Patty

Deliberately provocative, yes, but not necessarily maliciously. Picture a pot of soup. A lot of ingredients have settled to the bottom, out of sight, until stirred. Metaphorically, a lot of issues/resentments/obligations can drop out of sight when nobody mentions them. One can "stir the pot" to bring issues to the surface, sometimes with malice, but sometimes merely to create awareness and effect change.