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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

mid-14c., from verbal noun from fry (v.) + pan (n.). To go out of the frying-pan into the fire ("from a bad situation to a worse one") is first attested in Thomas More (1532).

Usage examples of "frying-pan".

He had a cat-skin cap in his hand about as large as a frying-pan, and nearly of the same colour--this he kept turning round and round first with one hand, then with both--a pea-jacket with large pearl buttons, corduroy breeches, a kind of moleskin waistcoat, and blucher shoes.

Andrews and I hastened off to get our own breakfast, and soon had a half-gallon of strong coffee, and a frying-pan full, of meat cooking over the fire--not one of the beggarly skimped little fires we had crouched over during our months of imprisonment, but a royal, generous fire, fed with logs instead of shavings and splinters, and giving out heat enough to warm a regiment.

Put two tablespoonfuls of butter into a frying-pan, when hot slice in one large onion and brown it, add one-half can of tomatoes, season with one teaspoonful of pepper, one-half teaspoonful of allspice, some finely chopped parsley, and one-half cupful of tomato catsup.

One woman carried an iron frying-pan whose blood-stained undersurface proclaimed successful use.

Standing before the fire that held the big black frying-pan with her bacon and fried bread sizzling in it, she put on her vest and bloomers, her one calico-topped petticoat, her flannel one, her blue woollen dress and her white, frilled pinafore.

You can punish wickedness but not stupidity, unless you send away the fool, male or female, who is guilty of it, and if you do so you generally find out that the change has only thrown you out of the frying-pan into the fire.

Kink spluttered, as he jabbed the sour-dough can into the beanpot with one hand and with the other gathered in the frying-pan and coffeepot.

A Northern tank dissolved, the turret flipping up like a frying-pan, a hundred meters into the air.

But before I'd got halfway to the crest I came on their outlying picket breakfasting round a fire in a little hollow, and who should I see but little Fanny Duberly, presiding over a frying-pan with half a dozen grinning Highlanders round her.

Walker among the plates , saucepans , cullenders , frying-pans , chicken in aspic , ice-cream freezers , pared crusts of bread , lemons , soup tureens , and pudding basins which , however hard they washed up in the scullery seemed to be all on top of her , on the kitchen table , on chairs , while the fire blared and roared , the electric lights glared , and still supper had to be laid .

A frying-pan, some salt pork, and a hatchet, made up a light pack, which, with the bedding, I fastened across the stock saddle by means of a rope and a spare packing cinch.

Who, the one searching with the pole in those parts where she knew the fish lay hid, while the other made ready the nets, did in a brief space of time, to the exceeding great delight of the King, who watched them attentively, catch fish not a few, which they tossed to the servant, who set them, before the life was well out of them, in the frying-pan.