If an activity is too difficult, or the pressure of a situation is too much for a person to handle, then perhaps it would be best to stop doing it and/or leave.
Example: Dustin became a chef at a restaurant. However, when the place gets busy and the orders start coming in hot, he has trouble keeping up. So Dustin was told by the head chef: “Being a cook at this restaurant isn’t easy. So if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen and find something better.” He decided to quit the job in order to find one that is less stressful.
In other words, the head chef meant that if the job was too hard for Dustin, then he should quit and find other work.
The Origin Of “If You Can’t Stand The Heat, Get Out Of The Kitchen”
It’s thought that Harry S. Truman is the one who coined the phrase. He used the phrase as early 1942, as he was quoted in a newspaper called The Soda Springs Sun from that year:
“Favorite rejoinder of Senator Harry S. Truman, when a member of his war contracts investigating committee objects to his strenuous pace: ‘If you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
The kitchen can be a hot place to be in. With the ovens set to bake, and the pans heating up on the stove, the temperatures in the kitchen rise. Not only that, but the kitchen can be a stressful environment to work in, especially if you work at a place that prepares food for people. It can get busy, and with limited time to fill the orders coming in, people’s tempers can heat up as well.
So with all that heat to go around, some people might be uncomfortable working in such a hot environment, and if that’s the case, it would probably be best for them to literally get out of the kitchen.
- Bill became a trucker, but later he found the job to be too exhausting. The hours were way too long. His fellow truckers told him that if he can’t stand the heat, then he should get out of the kitchen.
Note: If you’re looking for the meanings for more idioms and phrases, well that’s this website has. We have an alphabetical list that can help you navigate around and find a specific expression that you’re looking for. If you’re unable to find the one you want, well then maybe come back another time, since more idioms will be added at a later time.