When someone 'rocks the boat', they say or do something to disturb an existing situation and upset people. This video explains the meaning and use of the idiom 'rock the boat' in English. We explain how to use it with some easy examples for Spoken and Business English.
This popular idiom is commonly used in both social and professional situations, and the literal meaning comes from actually rocking a boat, which could possibly capsize the boat. In the idiomatic sense, it means causing unnecessary problems which can lead to a worse situation.
He really didn’t want to rock the boat with his girlfriend after he upset her last week, so instead, he bought her flowers and brought her on a date.
He rocked the boat with his colleagues after what he said in the canteen. I think a complaint will be made against him.