We all feel the pressure in our daily lives both social and working and there is one phrase that seems to ring very true when someone says they are “in the hot seat”. When this is said about you, or someone, you will know that they are likely to be under pressure or to feel that they are about to be scrutinised in a very direct way. It’s very common for some to say it when they are up for an interview or they are going to be the focus of a performance review.  Mark Zuckerberg was recently said to be “in the hot seat” when he faced Senators front the US government about Facebook (luckily they asked him easy questions) but Sir Phillip Green had a harder time “in the hot seat” when he faced a Commons select committee about why British Home Stores had collapse and where pension money had disappeared.  It’s also used for contestants on Mastermind or the chase when the pressure is on and the questions come thick and fast. One thing that you can be sure of it business is that you will come under the spotlight and knowing that you’ve got a decent bit of equipment underneath you. Take a look at www.bestbuy-officechairs.co.uk/office-chairs/operator-chairs/ for example where they can fit you out with a perfect single or set of Operator Chairs. Where does the phrase originate from?

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The phrase “in the hot seat” seems to come from a variety of sources that are lost in the midst of time. As with any saying the original meaning has been changed, distilled or applied to something so different that the original sentiment is probably lost to us. As with anything to do with the English language we can look to the Bard, William Shakespeare to see if he makes any mention of it and where the quote “We know what we are, but know not what we may be” certainly sounds like something that some “in the hot seat” might be experiencing he does not use the phrase.

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This means that it is more common in the modern tongue, there is some evidence that it relates to the rather bleak days of the Spanish Inquisition and the work of Elizabeth the first’s secret service man Francis Walsingham. Both were known to use an iron chair, under which a roaring fire was lit. The unfortunate subject was strapped in and interrogated and this slang may start there. A more modern use is regarding flying a Spitfire and also the electric chair in North American prisons. Nothing that you’ll have to worry about with yours!