Out of the Frying Pan Into the Fire

Meaning of Idiom ‘Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire’

To be out of the frying pan into the fire means to have escaped from a bad or dangerous situation only to find themselves in a worse one. 1Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.,2Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.,3Jarvie, Gordon. Bloomsbury Dictionary of Idioms. London: Bloomsbury, 2009.

Usage

This saying is often used with the word jump as in ‘he jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.’

Examples Of Use

“I thought I was moving to a safer neighborhood but jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.”

“Tom thought being in sales was too stressful so he switched to advertising. He was out of the frying pan into the fire!”

Origin

This idiom began as a proverb in many languages and is of ancient origin, often including the word jump or leap. In English, it was first recorded in 1528 by Sir Thomas More (Works):

“Lepe they lyke a flounder out of a frying-panne into the fyre.” 4Apperson, George Latimer, et al. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Proverbs. Wordsworth Editions, 2006.,5Manser, Martin H., et al. The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Facts On File, 2007.

More Idioms Starting with O

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
2. Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.
3. Jarvie, Gordon. Bloomsbury Dictionary of Idioms. London: Bloomsbury, 2009.
4. Apperson, George Latimer, et al. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Proverbs. Wordsworth Editions, 2006.
5. Manser, Martin H., et al. The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Facts On File, 2007.