• 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.