English Idioms


for a few years, I've noticed the use of the phrase "we have a situation", especially in recent american movies (thrillers, action movies).
I am wondering if it is a new use of the word "situation" meaning "problem" or "issue"; or if this sens of "situation" has always existed?


  • From the medieval Latin verb 'situare' meaning 'to place', which is from the Latin noun for 'place', 'situs' 'Situation' is generally neutral, but can be both positive or negative depending on context. I tihnk the popularity in recent movies has to do in part with the hint of sarcasm (via understatement) inferred when using the term to describe a serious problem or event.
  • Thank you very much Kiera. I do get the hint of sarcasm consisting to use mild words to describe critical "situations".
    Do you confirm it is a recent way to use the word situation (<10 years) like a "langage fashion"? Or has it always been like this and I just didn't notice it previously?

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