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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2011-04-04 19:13:00

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2601

power keg << powder keg

A serious number of people are writing and/or saying “power keg” for “powder keg.” See searches here and here and the examples below.

The phrase “powder keg” has been part of English since at least the eighteenth century. It does not appear to have been used as a metaphor for an explosive region of the world until the mid-twentieth century. Today the metaphor seems over-used – it should be put out to pasture, if not forever, then at least for a few decades


User submitted editorial in the UK Daily Telegraph: “Middle East is described as a power keg, and its fuse is now smoldering in Lebanon.”

Book review on a political site: “The potential for communal, for inter-ethnic, violence is a power keg that must not be ignited.”

Blog entry: “However, today’s skirmishes among the big three … quite possibly may eventually get to the point a power keg explodes, thus bringing to reality the ancient threat of Armageddon. ”

There are also a number of examples of “keep your power dry,” a perversion of the saying attributed to Cromwell, “trust in God and keep your powder dry.” The substitution in this phrase does not seem so compactly eggcornish as in “power keg.” Nor does the usage Power Milk Biscuits in place of Garrison Keilor’s pseudosponsor, the tasty and expeditious Powder Milk Biscuits.

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#2 2011-04-05 16:15:34

From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 1101

Re: power keg << powder keg

Beauty Lasts If You Power Your Nose in a Correct Way … Way.html

Here’s another take on the powder keg: a “powder cake”. Maybe they see it as some sort of cooked up explosive pastry paste, like yellow cake uranium. I particularly like the last one, where the cake has different ingredients. Some are just imaginative silicistic transcripts, admittedly.

So the Chinese government is sitting on a powder cake. It is not clear that this Nobel Prize is the spark to set it off

History Archive
With the considerable tension and lack of trust between nations worldwide, the world was a “powder cake”, just waiting for something to set the war in motion.

Yellowstone geology
It is hard to imagine when viewing the pristine beauty of Yellowstone, its caldera and many geysers, that this picturesque environment is a powder cake waiting to explode.

Food riots and open freedom activity turned the relationship between Earth and Mars into a powder cake ready to go off.

Tajikistan unrest, Radio France International
Unrest in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan has become mutually reinforcing, says Swanström. “Together they create a powder cake,” he says.



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