Een heet hangijzer

a hot potato, a loaded subject, a controversial theme Iconspeaker_3
[Dutch phrase of the week]Hangijzer

"Hangijzer" literally translates to a pot-hanger: a metal hook for hanging pots over a fire. You can easily burn your fingers on it…

As an expression, "een heet hangijzer" is used for a difficult (current) subject, on which a lot of discussion takes place: a delicate matter. It is often used in politics.

– "De Joint Strike Fighter is nog steeds een heet hangijzer in de Nederlandse politiek." 
("The Joint Strike Fighter is still a loaded subject in Dutch politics.")

– "De hypotheekrenteaftrek: nog zo’n heet hangijzer…" 
("Home mortgage interest deduction: yet another hot potato…")

– "De kerst doorbrengen bij de eigen ouders of bij de schoonouders: een heet hangijzer in menige relatie." 
("To spend Christmas at your own parents or at your in-laws: a hot potato in many a relationship.")

Related words:
– Heet: hot [adjective].
– Hangen: to hang [verb] [hangen, hing, gehangen].
– IJzer: iron [noun] [het ijzer, de ijzers].
– IJzeren: iron [adjective].
– Beladed: loaded, burdened [adjective].
– Omstreden: disputed, controversial [adjective]

– "Het gebruik van gentechnologie in de landbouw is omstreden."
("The use of gen-technology in agriculture is controversial.")

– Gevoelig: touchy, sensitive [adjective].
– Taboe: taboo [noun] [het taboe, de taboes].

4 thoughts on “Een heet hangijzer

  1. The use of gene technology (gene with an e and no hyphen in English) is controversial – “disputed” doesn’t work in this sentence. Your site is great! Thanks.

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