chicken\ switch

noun slang Space English
1. the emergency eject button used by test pilots in fast and high flying aircraft by means of which they can parachute to safety if the engine fails; later adopted by astronauts in space capsules.

Don't pull the chicken switch, unless absolutely necessary.

2. the panic button; a panicky reaction to an unforeseen situation, such as unreasonable or hysterical telephone calls to friends for help.

Joe pulled the chicken switch on his neighbor when the grease started burning in the kitchen.


Словарь американских идиом. — СПб., Изд-во "Лань". . 1997.

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