English Idiom – Choppy waters.

Meaning –  This expression refers to troublesome, difficult or uncertain times. This idiom is usually used when someone or something has difficult times ahead. It is often used to refer to a turbulent period in a person‘s life or a difficult situation that must be navigated.

We can face, head into, sail into or prepare for choppy waters.

Choppy is an adjective that describes something that is rough, uneven, or interrupted. It can be used to describe a variety of things, including the sea, a person‘s voice, or a person‘s writing. “The choppy sea made the boat rock back and forth.”

Related Expressions:


When could you use this idiom?

  • You are in a meeting at work discussing a difficult business negotiation.
  • When describing a turbulent political climate with a friend.
  • You are discussing a volatile stock market with your financial advisor.
  • A family member is talking about a rocky relationship with their partner.


  • “I’m worried about my job because I think my company is heading into choppy waters.”

In The News:

UK News Cameron: ‘Choppy waters ahead’ after Brexit vote



  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.

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