Meaning of a hornets' nest in English:

a hornets' nest


  • A situation fraught with difficulties or complications.

    ‘the move has stirred up a hornets' nest of academic fear and loathing’
    • ‘Discount broker TD Waterhouse has stirred up a hornets' nest with the announcement that it will introduce margin trading into the UK.’
    • ‘In doing so, he seems to have stirred up a hornets' nest.’
    • ‘The US has not only disturbed a hornets' nest; it keeps on poking it.’
    • ‘Or, if the allegations are substantiated and he can deliver, then that stirs up a whole new hornets' nest.’
    • ‘Before I poke my stick into that little hornets' nest, I'm going to declare an interest in both sides.’
    • ‘What you've done needed doing, but I'm thinking it's likely to be like kicking a hornets' nest when word of it gets out.’
    • ‘It is cynical, but I think they enjoy stirring up a hornets' nest.’
    • ‘Joseph E. Stiglitz whacked a hornets' nest in 2002 with the publication of Globalization and Its Discontents.’
    • ‘Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has stirred a real hornets' nest with his call to scrap the FA Academy system.’
    • ‘To push that theological line, however, is still to stir up a hornets' nest.’
    difficulty, issue, trouble, worry, complication, difficult situation, mess, muddle, mix-up