In Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Sidney planted a smear on Dallas, who is having a affair with Susan whose brother is J.J:

Sidney: Auntie Van Cleve is firing him. I just got it from the horse's mouth. They were just here in a panic.

J.J: You mean to say they've already traced the smear to you? Then what are you so smug about? Susie isn't dumb. All she does is put two and two together, and I'm a chicken in a pot.

What does "chicken in a pot" mean?


1 Answer 1


We often use expressions comparing a person in trouble to an animal being killed or cooked, or something being cooked.

If my father hears I dented his car, I'm toast!

If my boss finds my mistake, I'll be roasted alive!

A chicken in a pot is, in a way, trebly unlucky, because it is (1) dead, (2) being cooked, and (3) confined in a pot, with no possibility of escape. Saying he will be a 'chicken in a pot' combines all these into a figure of speech called a 'metaphor'. If he said 'I will be like a chicken in a pot', he would be using another type of figure of speech, called a 'simile'.

Metaphor (Cambridge Dictionary)

Simile (Cambridge Dictionary)

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