Sitting on a powder keg

In imminent danger, in an explosive situation, as in Our office is sitting on a powder keg while management decides whether or not to close us down. This metaphoric term alludes to sitting on a keg of gunpowder that could go off at any moment. [ First half of 1900s ]


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  • Sitting-pretty

    adjective, prettier, prettiest. 1. pleasing or attractive to the eye, as by delicacy or gracefulness: a pretty face. 2. (of things, places, etc.) pleasing to the eye, especially without grandeur. 3. pleasing to the ear: a pretty tune. 4. pleasing to the mind or aesthetic taste: He writes pretty little stories. 5. (often used ironically) […]

  • Sitting target

    noun 1. a person or thing in a defenceless or vulnerable position Also called (informal) sitting duck

  • Sitting tenant

    noun 1. a tenant occupying a house, flat, etc

  • Sitting trot

    noun 1. a horse’s trot during which the rider sits still in the saddle Compare rising trot

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