walk on eggshells
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1800s usage, probably from the imagery that eggshells are easily broken when stepped upon.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌwɔːk ɒn ˈɛɡʃɛlz/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌwɔk ɑn ˈɛɡʃɛlz/, /ˌwɑk-/, /-ɔn-/
- (idiomatic) To be overly careful in dealing with a person or situation because they get angry or offended very easily; to try very hard not to upset someone or something.
- (idiomatic) To be careful and sensitive, in handling very sensitive matters.
to act carefully to avoid upsetting someone
to handle sensitive matters delicately
- (walking) on thin ice