can of worms
Informal. a source of many unpredictable or unexpected problems: Buying a company we know nothing about would be opening up a whole new can of worms.
Alaskan Bull WormRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Can baboons read? Kind of.Earlier this year, French behavioral scientist Jonathan Grainger and his team taught baboons to read. Well, not exactly. They taught the baboons to recognize words. The baboons played a game on a computer screen. When a fake word appears, they were supposed to press a blue plus sign. When a real word shows up, they were supposed to press a green circle. The baboons were …
complexity, complication, difficulty, entanglement, headache, mess, predicament, problem, quagmire, quandary, snafu, snarl, trouble
- caméra stylo,
- can buoy,
- can do with,
- can opener,
- can tho,
- can't abide,
- can't but
Origin of can of worms
First recorded in 1965–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
can of worms
A complex unexpected problem or unsolvable dilemma, as in Tackling the budget cuts is sure to open a can of worms. This expression alludes to a container of bait used for fishing, which when opened reveals an inextricable tangle of worms. [1920s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.