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    #1

    on a back burner = on the second place

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am on the right track by interpretation of the expression in bold in the following excerpt from the disreputable NYT’s article with the tendentious title “Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin”?

    “Given all he faces, Barack Obama may be tempted to put Russia on a back burner. We hope he does not. “

    on a back burner = on the second place (in a position of low priority).

    This term alludes to a cook's putting items requiring less attention at the back of the stove.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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      • England
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      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #2

    Re: on a back burner = on the second place

    The back burner usually has a lower temperature setting, things put on the back burner cook more slowly, so you can afford to take your eye off them without too much risk of them burning or boiling over, or at least you hope so.The level of certainty depends on the experience of the cook.
    Last edited by bhaisahab; 04-Jan-2009 at 18:12. Reason: Afterthought

  2. RonBee's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: on a back burner = on the second place

    This is a theory I just came up with. Things that are on the back burner are harder to reach than things on the front burner. If you put something on the back burner you don't plan to pay as much attention to it as you would if it were on the front burner. The things on the front burner get more attention.



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