Stir the pot

Stir the pot is an idiom with an uncertain origin. We will examine the meaning of the idiom stir the pot, when it appeared, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

To stir the pot means to make unnecessary trouble, to agitate, to provoke. Someone who will stir the pot will often cause squabbles between others involved in an endeavor. He may stir the pot to destroy a project, to cause the project to turn out in his favor, or simply because he enjoys making trouble. The expression stir the pot came into use sometime in the mid-twentieth century, and evokes the image of someone stirring a pot of stew. Related terms are stirs the pot, stirred the pot, stirring the pot, pot-stirrer.

Examples

Resident Kelly Couture said Selectman Alan Tibbetts is “trying to stir the pot” with his sign, which she called “divisive” and “borderline hate speech.” (The Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel)

We are fortunate to be able to say, or write, whatever we think and can give our opinion anytime we want to, although sometimes it can stir the pot so much, it boils over. (The Moberly Monitor Index)

The cousin of the recently axed Alex Kompothecras has recently led a campaign against “Siesta Key” pot-stirrer Chloe Trautman for her use of a racial slur, which was caught on camera. (The International Business Times)

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