Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

(when) the shit hits the fan

the shit hits the fanwhen the shit hits the fan
Meaning(s)
1) when a situation suddenly becomes difficult, chaotic, or dangerous
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional HighSocial
    • when he/she heard the bad news, the shit hit the fan
  • Analysis
    This is a highly informal and vulgar expression, so we wouldn't advise using it around people who you don't know very well or with whom you wouldn't normally have frank and informal conversations. The idea is that the 'shit' is the trouble that will arise from a circumstance, and when it 'hits the fan', it will go everywhere, meaning that the trouble will become known and widespread.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. As soon as Suzanne heard the bad news, the shit hit the fan. She was furious!
    2. If Greg finds out his girlfriend spent the evening with Mark the shit will hit the fan.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. I'd rather you told the boss about what went wrong. I don't want to be the one in the firing line when the shit hits the fan!
    2. Patrick's CV looks great, but this is a high-pressure environment, so I wonder how he'll cope when the shit hits the fan?
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