pour oil on troubled waters

Idiom

Pour oil on troubled waters

Definition

To try to calm a tense situation

Examples

I tried to pour oil on troubled waters when my friends got into an argument.

The teacher poured oil on troubled waters by ending the discussion and moving on with the lesson.

Origin

Derived from a sailing term where oil was poured into the sea to calm the waters.

FAQs

question

What does ‘pour oil on troubled waters’ mean?

answer

It is an idiom that means to try to calm a tense situation.

question

Where does the phrase ‘pour oil on troubled waters’ come from?

answer

It is said to be derived from a sailing term where oil was poured into the sea to calm the waters.