Appalachian Dialect Heritage

How Hot Is It At Your House?

Beautiful sunrise in andrews nc

Western NC, along with other areas throughout the country, has been experiencing a record breaking heat wave this summer. The high temps recorded during the month of June broke records around the world. And for Western NC the heatwave has continued during the month of July as well.

I grew up with no air conditioning-most of the cars Pap had didn’t even have it. When The Deer Hunter and I were first married and built our house it was several years before we could afford to have air conditioning installed.

Over the years of having air in the house-and in our cars-I’ve become what Pap calls ‘soft’. Meaning I cannot take the heat!

Of course with the heat comes the colorful saying about how hot it is-you know like:

  • hotter than Hades
  • hotter than the hinges of hell
  • hot as a frying pan
  • hot enough to fry an egg

One of my favorites-

  • hotter than a 2 dollar pistol
  • Another one I like: hotter than a little red wagon (who knows what that one is supposed to mean)

We spent the last few days with Miss Cindy. While we were there the air conditioning in her car went out and worse than that the air in the house quit working. At 8 in the morning it was 86 degrees inside the house. Yes Pap is right I’ve become soft-with temps in the 80s inside the house-I was longing for home and my own air conditioning.

What is your favorite hotter than saying?



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  • Reply
    Sherry Thacker
    July 13, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    It has been hot enough to pop the corn on the stalk.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2016 at 9:35 am

    I grew up exactly the same way. I remember sitting in front of a fan, doing my best robot voice many a time. It was the onlyway we had to be cool. Which I didn’t seem to mind the heat near as bad as I do now. When we finally got a air conditioner it was like we’d moved up town lol.

  • Reply
    Tim Hassell
    August 6, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I almost forgot “hot enough to fry spit”. They used to spit on their fingers and touch it to the bottom of the flat iron to judge whether or not it was hot enough to use.

  • Reply
    Tim Hassell
    August 6, 2012 at 9:09 am

    “Hot as a depot stove”. Back in the old days the crews that repaired the railroad tracks would bring the rotted and broken creosote soaked cross ties back to the depot to be burned in the wood stove to heat the depot. These extra “rich” pieces of wood did indeed burn hot. I wonder how often the stoves and stove pipes had to be replaced due to over heating.

  • Reply
    August 4, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    It sure has been hot here, too. Kinda like walking into an oven when you go outside.

  • Reply
    Jeanna M
    August 4, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Tipper, We have spent this summer without AC in our home and let me tell you Franklin may be in the mountains but the heat and humidity is crazy. I know that south of us it is worse but I just got back from Iowa and they were complaining about the heat and humidity and I can tell you I didn’t even sweat while I was there. I had been canning before I left and I have tomatoes coming in fast and I really dread getting back at it. Oh well, in a few months we will be complaining about the cold.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    August 3, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    It’s hotter than my nephew’s hubcaps, my daddy used to say, but who knows what a hubcap is nowadays. I know what hot is and it’s the opposite of cold.
    I love hot, and I mean hot, dry days. I go through two and three tee-shirts a day but I’m going to soak up every ray coming down on me from above. And, I’m not staying in the house. There’s a swimming hole near by and I jump in every chance I get.
    Thank God for hot.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    August 3, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Tipper: It is so hot you could fry an egg on the hood of my truck.

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    August 2, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Those sayings are so funny! It was way hot here last week when our air quit. I totally understand how y’all felt! The last couple days it’s been cooler outside.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2010 at 7:47 am

    It’s been hotter than blue blazes down here. Or hotter than hades. Whichever is hotter.
    We had ac problems at the end of spring and had to replace it.
    Today it’s only to be in the mid 80’s. But tomorrow it’ll start cimbing again. High 90’s by Thursday. This has definitely been a crazy year for weather!

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    August 1, 2010 at 10:22 am

    You could try to fry an egg on the sidewalk in Houston, but the humidity would poach it on the way down. : )
    We have a 2-story house. I don’t usually run the air on the first floor. It’s regularly 85 down there. I run it on the 2nd floor, so there is some place cool to go if you just can’t stand it any more. I guess I’m semi-soft.

  • Reply
    August 1, 2010 at 8:27 am

    More triple digit temp today with the heat index being even more. Summertime has certainly arrived in Texas. Am so thankful for the a/c cause as the saying goes, it’s hotter than hades!

  • Reply
    Kim Campbell
    July 31, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Ugh, 98 here today and it’s supposed to get worse!!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    July 31, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    The lady from Crab Orchard that predicted the weather by (folklore)and the nature signs,(color of the wooly bears, fogs, hornets nest, etc.)…name was Helen Lane..she passed away in 2000 at 79, her daughter is predicting for her now…we still miss her…
    I must admit she got the weather right most of the time, at least for the plateau where she lived…

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 31, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I’ll say soft! with both car and home AC on the fritz I was contemplating suicide.
    The car was simply fixed and the house is better after some tweaking so it’s good that Tipper and the girls were her to keep me from anything drastic.
    I really don’t like being too hot and 90 degrees is too hot for these mountains! LOL!!

  • Reply
    July 31, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Tipper, here in Nantahala it has been almost enbearable to go outside to work in the garden, I don’t remember it being this hot when I was younger and neither does my Mom, but it has been hotter than blue blazes here at our house this year, it has been in the 90’s in the shade, and NOW thats hot for Nantahala. Keep up the GREAT work, Tipper!!!! Our garden is doing great in all this heat, we are picking beans almost every other day, and almost 4-5 bushels at a time, Thats ALOT of beans!!!!!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    July 31, 2010 at 10:37 am

    We have no A/C in the cabin either, but thank goodness the trucks do. I agree with Mike, I don’I know where the snowbirds get that it is so hot in the summer in FL! The hottest I have ever been was just outside of Chicago, it was over 100, I had to keep getting up to take a shower so I could get a few minutes sleep. The breeze off the Atlantic keeps the East
    Coast cool. But, back to NC, this is the first year we’ve spent the entire summer here I don’t remember it getting so hot here either. I hope the cold front makes it down this far I am wiltin’

  • Reply
    July 31, 2010 at 10:01 am

    We are having a bit of a cool down at 95 today…back up above 100 in a day or so…not sure how I survived as a kid without AC. Yes, I am spoiled!

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    July 31, 2010 at 2:30 am

    well hot up here in the pacific northwest is anything over 70, having spent 30 years in arizona,we only complain when the sun stays away to long .it can get downright depressing.its true about the dry heat though. we only hope the neighbors corn isnt late. blessings to all. k.o.h

  • Reply
    trisha too
    July 30, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Well, you know, it’s been “hotter than h-e-double-toothpicks” around here lately . . . that pretty much sums up my feelings about this nasty weather! My DH loves it hot, and I like it cold!

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    hotter ‘en those licks Paul is playing! btw, I LOVE Pointless Picks hotter ‘ens – way to go! 🙂
    Yes, it’s been awfully hot up here the past month, but tonite we can shut off the roaring ac and enjoy some cool dry air down from Canada. I’m not a big AC fan either. Didn’t grow up with it and can live without it most of the time. It has sure felt good the past month tho…

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    July 30, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    It’s been miserable here — in the low 90s. We had a rain last night and today was much better – mid 90s.
    No A/C here — it just makes it impossible for me to go outside if I stay too long in A/C. We have fans in every room and that helps immensely!

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    i think its been in the 70s. we had a tornado watch the other night with horrific thunder and lightning and rain you wouldnt believe. our poor garden is gettin more rain than it needs. it needs more sunshine. althou tonight we had chicken stir fry and the veggies were from my side of the garden…sugar snap peas, green beans and broccolli. mark says the best veggies i ever served. he said the green beans were better than canned beans which he prefers…now that about knocked me off my chair! we are going camping tomarrow if it doesnt rain…stay dry and warm. should be fun. bear got in the yard last night…leo (next door) started fussing and scared it away but not before it knocked over burn barrel and he scattered contents all over the lawn; bent one bird feeder to the ground, it is broken…he just had to have my suet; bent over another feeder but i think that is when he ran away. we figure he climbed over the chain link fence. he didnt get the chance to destroy the raspberry patch, blueberries or the garden. lucky us. hope he stays away. too many black bears around here in da UP.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    After reading the comments, I have to say that my new favorite saying is, “It is so hot that two trees were fighting over a dog”.
    It has been in the mid 90’s here in central KY, but only hit 90 today. What a break in the weather!

  • Reply
    Sandra VanOrman
    July 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    A few weeks ago it was 100+ here, and as a thin skinned Pacific Northwestener I can’t take the heat anymore either. Thankgoodness for A/C.
    I’m surprised no one mentioned it’s hotter than a cat on a hot tin roof…
    Sandy V.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    July 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    betsyfromtennessee reminded me of my childhood in East Tennessee. There was a woman from Crab Orchard, TN on the Cumberland Plateau who was something of a mountain weather expert and was real good at predicting snowfalls. One of the things she looked at was the number of fogs in August. She also looked at how close to the ground the hornets built their nests (the higher up, the deeper or more numerous the expected snowfalls). I wish I could remember her name. The Knoxville newspapers used to feature her predictions each year.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I can’t take the heat either. I am a wimp.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    July 30, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    We are in Jupiter, FL, about 2-3 miles west of the Gulf Stream. Even though we are pretty far south, the moderating influence of the gulf stream with generally a pretty decent sea breeze keeps things reasonably warm, but not usually miserable. Today it is 90 degrees. The highest temperature ever recorded at Palm Beach International Airport is 99 (at least the last time I checked on such things). That is hot, but I lived in Kansas for over 3 years and it got a LOT worse than that. We have what we call “snow birds”, people who live here in the winter and go north for the summer. Never figured that one out. I have been in New England in the summer and it can get a LOT worse than it does here. We don’t complain, though, because our traffic thins out a bit in the summer, not a bad thing.
    I don’t think I ever heard the one about the little red wagon. I have heard about the two-dollar pistol. Anyone who has ever fired a cheap pistol, knows that it will warm up pretty quickly.
    That is quite a selection from PointlessPicks!!

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Hi Tipper, I complained about the heat back home in NC Mountains, but I didn’t know how hot it could get until I came back to where I grew up in south west Georgia. I am smothering in the humidity, the heat index was 112 today and my car gets so hot, I can’t touch the steering wheel.
    To call off inside, I soak wash cloths and hold them in front of the AC to get cold. Then I put them all over me to cool off. I can’t wait to get home. At least I can stay inside and turn my own AC to as cold as I want it to be.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    July 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Well down here in South Cackalacky we would like to have the temperatures you are having in the mountains. I think last night the weather man said we had had over 30 days with 100 temperatures this summer, coming up on a record.
    Don’t have an “hotter than” quotes, but my favorite “colder than” one:
    “colder than a witch’s t#t in a brass brassiere.”

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Tipper, I’ve had some air conditioning problems this year too. And the heat ’bout killed me.
    Just give me the late fall and
    winter anytime. Enjoyed all the
    “hotter than” jokes by Pointless-
    Picks. They’re doozies….Ken

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Our high today is supposed to reach a whopping 54*. I doubt it will. Be grateful that you get to enjoy a real summer and aren’t stuck on some dreadful island where all it does is rain, and you wear sweatshirts all summer… under your gore-tex of course.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    My Granny used to say, “Lord son it’s as hot as a pile of long haired cats sleeping under a wool blanket in a barn loft covered with a new tin roof!”

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    July 30, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    It seems like we had two days of spring here in east TN and then went into hot/humid weather that just stays on and on with us. We are setting records left and right and are 30 some days into having temperatures of 90 or above, where it’s usually 13 days that are expected like that. Our highest/record tying temperature has been 98, two days in a row, with a heat index in the 100’s.
    Oh yes, I do remember those days of no air-conditioning … open windows, pleasant breezes, cool nights, BUT don’t you think this entire weather situation has changed?

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    July 30, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I haven’t been able to put out our brass monkeys. The weather has just not been mild enough…eitherit was too cold or too hot….LOL
    So, I think it has been “hot enough to melt the nose off a brass monkey”!

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    New River, Arizona 115 degrees and the favorite saying here is, “Yes, it’s hot, BUT it’s a dry heat”. I think they must mean toaster oven…

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Hotter than Blue Blazes!!!!!! Yes—I’m ‘soft’ too now… We haven’t had to use the AC in our home during the summer (except for a couple of weeks in August) UNTIL this year. This is the hottest summer I can remember–and definitely the hottest summer since we moved here in 2003. We’ve had the AC on here almost all summer…. I hate it!!!!
    Do you count the August fogs???? They will determine how much snow we get this winter… Today was only July 30th, but it was FOGGY this morning…. Oh how I love Weather Lore.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    It is so hot that the dog was chasing the cat and they were both walking.
    It’s so hot that two trees fighting over a dog.
    It is so hot that the hens were laying hard-boiled eggs.
    It is so hot that when you dig up potatoes, they’re already baked.
    It’s hotter than an ol’ settin’ hen, settin’ eggs in a wool basket in the summertime.
    It’s so hot that birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.
    It’s so hot that cows are giving evaporated milk.
    It’s so hot that squirrels are fanning their nuts.
    It’s hotter than whoopee in woolens.
    It’s hotter than a June bride in a feather bed.
    It’s hotter than seven hells out there.
    It’s hotter than the devil’s armpit.
    It’s hotter than Satan’s sauna.
    It’s been hotter than a goat’s butt in a pepper patch.
    It’s hotter than butter on a biscuit.
    It’s hotter than a pot of neck bones.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    The heat has been pretty unbearable here as well but we started to get a little relief yesterday. I too used to handle the heat just fine but now a days I really find myself getting tired and logy.
    Whitetail Woods Blog / Muzzleloader Testing

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    i have said two of the ones you mentioned a dozen times in the past month. hotter than hades and hot enough to fry and egg, the egg comment is the pool deck that cooks my feet or the slate that is by the grill. 100 degrees at noon for 4 days, I wanted to remove the themometer off the fence and sit it in the sun, but afraid it would explode and i would have to go out in the heat to buy a new one. I am thankful I have AC, i loved for most of my life without it, but not now. I am spoiled

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    As you know, we had an unreasonably cold wet end of May and all of June, then things got turned around as usual right after the Fourth. We thought it was going to finish out a scorcher, last year, yesterday’s date was our hottest day in history. This year? Yesterday was another day in a string of cool overcast, sometimes foggy like today, mornings, followed by sunny warm afternoons, typical late summer weather, but not middle summer weather for us.
    Our recent little “heat wave” caused me to get out all my little tricks for keeping my house cool with out ac and I do a great job if I may say so myself. ‘Cause there for a week and a half it was “hotter than the hubs of honie” From my mom, who couldn’t say “hell”

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I can’t think of any other ‘hot’ quotes, Tipper. But it’s ‘sure enough’ hot here! Our heat indexes are running 105-110 everyday. Sure wish we’d get a cool spell!

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 10:32 am

    tip– i have no ac in either car or home. it takes about a week to get used to it, but then it’s fine. in really extreme times, you just rest in from of a fan with an ice block under your neck–lots cheaper! (warning: should the heat index get in the dangerous area and if you;re sensitive, seek out a cafe or library or store or something 🙂

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