I'm reading "Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal" by "Nick Bilton"

At some point, CEO was fired and all employees are sad and confused. The author had used this paragraph to describes the situation:

But the mood wasn’t jovial. There was no laughing. There was only tension that could have been sliced with a tweet and sadness, even among the winning team.

What does the second sentence mean?

  • 3
    I'm guessing it's a pun of sorts on "tension you could cut with a knife".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Sep 1, 2020 at 20:27
  • I can only guess the sentence should have been "CEO was fired and all employees are sad and confused" in order to make sense of it. Unless "CEO has fired everyone and all employees are sad and confused". Either event would be as tense as they describe it.
    – Elliot
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 4:06

1 Answer 1


It's a variant of the phrase 'You could cut it with a knife' i.e. "It was so tense you could cut/slice the air with a knife"

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