Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

can of worms

can of worms
Meaning(s)
1) create or bring up a problem that will cause or lead to many other troubles
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • don't open that can of worms
  • Analysis
    A 'can of worms' is an idiomatic expression used to talk about a situation that once approached is likely to lead to more problems and complications. If something is a 'can of worms' it is more complicated or troublesome than it might seem at first. "Raising salaries might seem like a sensible solution but is a can of worms with knock-on effects including inflation, making business difficult for small and medium companies and demands for higher pay in other sectors." This is an idiomatic expression you will hear used in social and professional contexts.
  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. To avoid opening a can of worms, he didn't mention the last time she was late.
    2. She opened a real can of worms when she told that embarrassing story about her boss.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. Asking for too much customer feedback at this stage could open a can of worms.
    2. The threat of higher minimum wage is a can of worms for small businesses like ours.
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