Right now it’s summer, and it’s hot as blazes! (That means the weather is extremely hot). This inspired me to teach you 15 English words and expressions with “hot.”
Some of these are idioms – short phrases or expressions that you can’t understand literally, you can’t translate them word for word to get their meaning – instead, you have to know the meaning of the whole phrase.
Your own language has idioms, too, and lots of them are probably different from the ones we use in English! That’s why I created a course to help you learn idioms fast – it’s called 300+ English idioms in 30 days.
Inside it, you’ll practice understanding common idioms from context, you’ll learn what they mean, and then you’ll try to use them yourself. You can get more information and join that course by clicking on the link.
OK, here are 15 English words and expressions using the word hot:
#1 – hotline
A hotline is a telephone line that gives quick and direct access to help or information. For example, the police might have a domestic abuse hotline that people can call if they are being hurt in their homes by family members. A city might have a tourism hotline that tourists can call to get information.
#2 – hotbed
A hotbed is a place that provides especially good conditions for something to grow or develop. The thing that develops can be bad or good – for example, a department in the government can be a hotbed of corruption, or an area like Silicon Valley can be a hotbed of innovation.
#3 – hotshot
The word hotshot describes a person who is very skilled and successful… and often implies that this person is very confident and maybe a bit arrogant, showing off their success. My friend’s father is a hotshot lawyer who has worked on some of the most famous cases in the country.
#4 – hotheaded
A person who is hotheaded is easily angered; they are quick to lose their temper. I once had a hotheaded client who would yell at me for making a mistake.
#5 – selling like hotcakes
If a product is selling like hotcakes, it means a lot of people are buying the product very fast. A popular singer’s new CD will be selling like hotcakes as soon as it is released.
#6 – a hot spot
This expression has two meanings. It can refer to a region where there is a lot of active conflict and violence. For example, if two countries were fighting about some territory on their border, and attacking each other, that would be a hot spot. It can refer to a place that is lively (a lot of activity) and popular, like a nightclub or a busy tourist place.
#7 – a hot-button issue
A hot-button issue is a controversial topic that people often have strong opinions about, so it can make people get passionate, emotional, or even angry when discussing it. Things like abortion and immigration tend to be hot-button issues.
#8 – hot off the press
This expression refers to a publication (a book, magazine, newspaper, etc.) that has been printed and released very recently.
#9 – full of hot air
Saying someone is full of hot air means the person is full of nonsense; they are saying things that are ridiculous and shouldn’t be taken seriously. For example, “Marketers are full of hot air. They make all these promises and then things are never as good as they claim.”
#10 – hot under the collar
If you are hot under the collar, it means you are angry. This expression refers to the fact that when you get angry, you often feel your body temperature rising.
#11 – in hot water
To be in hot water means to be in trouble, especially in a situation where you will be punished or someone will be mad at you. If your boss discovers you’ve been using your time at work to play computer games, you’ll be in hot water!
#12 – have the hots for someone
This expression is an informal way to say “romantically/sexually attracted to someone.” For example, my sister has the hots for a guy in her writing class; she can’t stop thinking about him.
#13 – hot to trot
If someone is hot to trot, it means they are ready, willing, eager and enthusiastic to start something or to go ahead. Let’s say your company proposes a partnership with a non-profit organization; if the organization seems very excited about it and wants to move forward right away, they are hot to trot.
#14 – hot on someone’s heels
In a race or competition, being hot on someone’s heels means to be immediately behind them, in close pursuit. For example, the second-place runner can be hot on the heels of the runner in the lead. Or a company that is leading the market by a small margin might have a competitor that is hot on its heels.
#15 – strike while the iron is hot
This expression means you should take advantage of especially good conditions to take some action now.
For example, if you want to buy a house and there is a sudden drop in house prices, you should strike while the iron is hot and buy a house now while the prices are low.