- Informal. a situation or issue that is difficult, unpleasant, or risky to deal with.
- British Informal. a baked potato.
Origin of hot potato
- slang an awkward or delicate matter
Idioms and Phrases with hot potato
A problem so controversial and sensitive that it is risky to deal with. For example, Gun control is a political hot potato. This term, dating from the mid-1800s, alludes to the only slightly older expression drop like a hot potato, meaning “to abandon something or someone quickly” (lest one be burned). The idiom alludes to the fact that cooked potatoes retain considerable heat because they contain a lot of water.