The Temperature Challenge


Photo by Ryan King

It’s pretty cold here in Montreal these days, but I’ve been drinking lots of hot tea to stay warm!  Maybe that’s why I started to think about all the ways we use temperature words in the English language.  There are so many expressions and idioms that have to do with hot and cold!

We can say that someone has “a cool head” if they can stay calm and think clearly in stressful situations.  If someone gets angry very easily, we can call them “hot tempered”.

Sometimes, expressions using opposite temperatures don’t have opposite meanings.  We can say that someone is “hot” if we think they’re good looking, or “cool” if we think they’re a really great, interesting person.  Both “hot” and “cool” are great compliments!

Here at Culips, it seems like we’ve all been thinking a lot about cold temperatures lately.  A lot of our recent blog posts mention snow, and a couple of weeks ago we did a Catch Word episode about the expression “to get cold feet”.  (If you don’t know what that means, go listen to the podcast!)

Personally, one of my favourite temperature-related expressions is “to be in hot water”.  In this expression, the term “hot water” is a synonym for “trouble”.  For instance, a guy will usually be in hot water if he forgets about his girlfriend’s birthday!

I’m curious about what other temperature expressions we can think of together.  There must be hundreds of them in the English language alone, but I also wonder what kinds of temperature expressions exist in other languages.

So here’s my challenge for all of our readers: (This means YOU!)

How many temperature idioms, phrases, or expressions can we think of?  Share them here as a response to this blog post.  Just click on the little speech icon to the right of the post’s title and write whatever you can think of.  You can include definitions too if you want, but you don’t have to.  You could even translate an expression from another language into English and share that!  As always, feel free to ask questions too!