If You Can’t Stand The Heat, Get Out Of The Kitchen


The phrase if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen means—if an activity is too difficult or the pressure of a situation is too great for someone to handle, then perhaps it would be best to stop doing it and/or leave.

Example: When Dustin became a chef at a restaurant, he quickly learned how draining the job could be. Once the orders started flying in, he felt overwhelmed with anxiety. So the head chef told him: “I know this job is stressful, but as the saying goes, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Consider finding another line of work.”

Too much for someone (e.g., This is too much for me, I need to take a break.)

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The Origin Of “If You Can’t Stand The Heat, Get Out Of The Kitchen”

It’s believed that Harry S. Truman is the one who coined the phrase. He used this expression as early 1942. In a newspaper from that year called The Soda Springs Sun, he was quoted as saying:

“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.”

I can’t seem to find the phrase in any newspapers from before the above mentioned time. So it looks like the expression was indeed coined in that year, making it 77 years old.

Tip: Hey, I just wanted to recommend our food phrases list because it has more expressions like this one on it. This phrase is somewhat related to food after all since, you know, food is prepared in a kitchen and all that. Anyway, check out that list!

Example Sentences

  • Bill became a truck driver, but the long hours were taking a toll on his health. When he complained to his fellow workers, they said: “It is tough, Bill, but if you can’t stand the heat, then you should get out of the kitchen.”

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