Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Every language has its own
special words and
expressions. And a story can
be told about each of them.
Hot is a simple, easily-
understood word. So are
most of the expressions
made with the word hot. But
not always, as we shall see.
The words hot potato, for
example, give you no idea at
all to the meaning of the
expression, hot potato.
The potato is a popular
vegetable in the United
States. Many people like
baked potatoes, cooked in an
oven or fire. Imagine trying to
carry a hot, baked potato in
your hand. It would be
difficult, even painful, to do
Now we are getting close to
the meaning of hot potato.
Some publicly-disputed issues
are highly emotional. The
issues must be treated
carefully, or they will be
difficult and painful if an
elected official has to deal
with them. As difficult and
painful as holding a hot
One such hot potato is taxes.
Calling for higher taxes can
mean defeat for a politician.
And yet, if taxes are not
raised, some very popular
government programs could
be cut. And that also can
make a politician very
unpopular. So the questions
must be dealt with
carefully...the same way you
would handle any other hot
Another expression is not so
hot. If you ask someone how
she feels, she may answer:
"not so hot." What she means
is she does not feel well.
Not so hot also is a way of
saying that you do not really
like something. You may tell a
friend that the new play you
saw last night is not so hot.
That means you did not
consider it a success.
A hot shot is a person --
often a young person -- who
thinks he can do anything. At
least he wants to try. He is
very sure he can succeed. But
often he fails. The expression
was born in the military
forces. A hot shot was a
soldier who fired without
aiming carefully.
Hot is a word that is often
used to talk about anger.
A person who becomes angry
easily is called a hothead. An
angry person's neck often
becomes red. We say he is
hot under the collar . You
could say that your friend is
no hothead. But he got hot
under the collar when
someone took his radio.
In nineteen sixty-three, hot
line appeared as a new
The hot line was a direct
communications link between
the leaders of the Soviet
Union and the United States.
The hot line had an important
purpose: to prevent
accidental war between the
two competitors during the
period known as the Cold
War. The American president
and the Soviet leader were
able to communicate directly
and immediately on the hot
line. This helped prevent any
conflict during an international
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