spot of bother

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spot of bother (plural spots of bother)

  1. (idiomatic) A slight problem; a small predicament.
    I had a spot of bother with a sticky key on my keyboard.
    • 1933 March, Marguerite Steen, “Strange Guest”, in Geo[rge] Newnes, editor, The Strand Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly, volume LXXXV, London: George Newnes, Ltd., [], OCLC 1006315258, page 271:
      As Gerald was aware, a spot of bother, a revival of the divorce fixation, had wafted Lydia temporarily on a visit to an aunt in Westmorland.
    • 1969, Alex Bowlby, “Orlando”, in Recollections of Rifleman Bowlby: Italy, 1944, London: Leo Cooper, published 1989, →ISBN, OCLC 108812, page 183:
      'Hullo, Charles,' he drawled. 'I'm afraid we've run into a spot of bother.' / A spot of bother, I thought. Christ!
    • 1979, C[harles] P[ercy] Snow, chapter 43, in A Coat of Varnish, London: Macmillan, →ISBN; republished Kelly Bray, Cornwall: House of Stratus, 2000, →ISBN, page 331:
      Loseby was telling them that he was in a spot of bother. That's what he called it. But somehow he always managed to get out of spots of bother. Or someone got him out.
    • 2005, Simon Stephens, On the Shore of the Wide World, London; New York, N.Y.: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, Bloomsbury Publishing, →ISBN, part 4, page 119:
      Charlie [] I heard about your spot of bother. / Alex Spot of bother? / Charlie Your dad told us. I was sorry to hear that. / Alex It was hardly a spot of bother, Grandad. My best mate's gonna get sent to prison for burning a house down.
    • 2008, Nick Trout, “12:54 p.m.: Extreme Makeover”, in Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing, and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon, New York, N.Y.: Broadway Books, →ISBN, pages 227–228:
      "Your topic, dear boy, your topic. 'Plastic Surgery in Small Animals.' I think you're in for a …"—she appeared to be searching for just the right turn of phrase and then added—"a spot of bother." / "A spot of bother," I repeated. / [] / What concerned me was her use of the phrase "a spot of bother." "A spot of bother" is one of many great British understatements. [] It is almost certain that during the famous Battle of Hastings in 1066 when King Harold took a direct hit from William the Conqueror's forces with an arrow to the eye, he turned to his knights and confessed that he was in a "spot of bother."
    • 2016, Siobhán MacDonald, “Mannix: October”, in Twisted River (Penguin Mystery), New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books, →ISBN, page 84:
      Being in a spot of bother with the Bolgers was rather like saying he'd had a brush with the Taliban or a minor skirmish with al-Qaida. The Bolgers didn't do spots of bother. They did mayhem. Revenge beatings, drive-by shootings, and in the last few months scalped a guy they felt had slighted them.