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Open a Can of Worms


Let’s talk about another addition to your list of English idioms! Have you ever heard the English idiom to open a can of worms? It means to create unnecessary problems or complications for oneself, just like opening a can and having a bunch of worms come out. Not a nice thought, is it?! Here are two sample sentences with to open a can of worms:

1. When I asked about earning more money, I didn’t realize that I was
opening a can of worms for myself.
2. I don’t want to open a can of worms, but I have to ask this question.

To further show the use of this idiom, have a look at these two recent newspaper headlines:

Skype Could Open A Can of Worms for Microsoft
-eweekeurope.co.uk, 1 July 2011, Wayne Rash
Our Child-Free Wedding Opened a Can of Worms
-newlyweds-dish.com, 28 June 2011, Mysba Lonesome-Regis

In reference to the second article title about the child-free wedding, the author writes that she and her husband-to-be decided that their wedding would be adults only; the only children invited were those in the wedding. And what a can of worms that opened up!. Why would wanting an adult-only wedding open a can of worms?

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