Definition of a can of worms in English:

a can of worms

phrase

  • A complicated matter likely to prove awkward or embarrassing:

    ‘to question the traditional model of education opens up too big a can of worms’
    • ‘If you open a can of worms, you can't shut them up again.’
    • ‘This is certainly opening up quite a can of worms.’
    • ‘I was told by one of his officials that delving into such matters would merely open a can of worms!’
    • ‘I always believed that we had opened a can of worms.’
    • ‘King says she isn't trying to open a can of worms, just bring the city up to date.’
    • ‘Telling the truth will open a can of worms, and cause huge embarrassment to certain establishments.’
    • ‘Matters aren't helped when the investigation opens up a can of worms including blackmail, secrets, and adulterous affairs.’
    • ‘This latest investigation has opened up a can of worms for officers.’
    • ‘Now I'm very aware that I could be opening a can of worms which would be better left closed, but I'm actually remarkably eager to hear a few other opinions on this issue.’
    • ‘The chief executive said: ‘This is opening a can of worms and I think there would be a risk to patients.’’
    • ‘The case, using the American Digital Millennium Act, has opened a can of worms for privacy advocates.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, by making a company liable for a crime that its technology is used to commit, they're opening up a can of worms that is likely to become quite messy.’
    • ‘I think it's a very difficult subject for me to get into because it would just open such a can of worms, and I really don't feel that it would be right for her memory.’
    • ‘As one can imagine, this retreat opens a can of worms among its members for various reasons.’
    • ‘The team have opened a can of worms with their antics of the past couple of days.’
    • ‘He said: ‘We seem to have opened a can of worms, but it needed opening.’’
    • ‘Amid some rancour and jostling, her supporters shouted ‘kangaroo court’ and predicted that ousting her from the party would open a can of worms.’
    • ‘By questioning the validity of the scientific method, the new approach to science education opens up a can of worms.’
    • ‘I frankly think the reason neither side has called Barbara is because she could open up a can of worms that neither wants to explore.’
    • ‘It can be less risky to ignore suspicions than open a can of worms that might end in a disastrous confrontation.’