Hot Damn: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
December 19, 2023

The phrase "hot damn" is often used to express enthusiasm, surprise, or excitement about something. It's a casual expression you might hear when someone is amazed or pleased with what's happening. Whether it's about tasting delicious food or seeing something astonishing, "hot damn" captures that feeling of pure wow factor.

In short:

  • It's an expression of strong excitement or amazement.
  • It's usually used casually to comment on something cool or surprising.

What Does "Hot Damn" Mean?

When someone blurts out "hot damn," they're jazzed about something. It's a way to show strong feelings like surprise, excitement, or even admiration. For example, if you see an amazing dunk in a basketball game, you might exclaim, "Hot damn, what a play!" Or, if you taste a dish that's out of this world, "Hot damn, this is good!" could be your go-to expression.

Here's the gist of when and why people use it:

  • It shows strong positive feelings about something, like excitement or amazement.
  • You'll hear it when someone finds something cool or noteworthy.
  • The phrase is a way to make sure everyone knows you're super impressed or thrilled.
  • It's often heard in informal settings, like hanging out with friends or watching sports.
  • Similar phrases include "oh wow," "amazing," and "no way."

Where Does "Hot Damn" Come From?

The phrase “hot damn” is an exclamation used in certain contexts, similar to “All right!” or "Excellent!" It’s often used as an outburst from being excited or pleased. Some believe it to be a softening of 'God damn!' while others suggest that it’s related to the purported temperature of Hell, whence the damned reside. Another theory is that the “hot” in “hot damn!” appears to be a meaningless syllable, as in “hot cha!” - a hepcat expression from the jazz age, the 1920s.

The earliest recorded use of the phrase "hot damn" appears to be from Hugh Wiley's first novel, "Wildcat," published in 1920. The book tells the story of a Black American drafted and sent overseas during World War I. In the novel, the character known as The Wildcat exclaims, "Hot damn!" while consuming a pork chop. The phrase was also famously used by Hugh Hefner in the 1950s and 1960s, further popularizing its usage.

Historical Example

"So with all the singles and albums you can gamble on this week, why gamble at all. Get yourself a stake with
Jerry Reed. Hot damn!"

- "Jerry Reed takes the gamble out of being hot," Billboard. May 29, 1971

10 Examples of "Hot Damn" in Sentences

To help you get when and how to use "hot damn," here are some examples from various situations:

  • When she walked in, everyone exclaimed, ‘Hot damn, who’s that red-hot mama?’
  • When she scored the winning goal, her teammates yelled, "Hot damn, you did it!"
  • All eyes are on me when I hit the dance floor, making me think, hot damn, I've still got it.
  • After hearing the news of his promotion, he said, "Hot damn, I can't believe it!"
  • Don't shy away from trying that spicy dish; you'll be saying "hot damn" after the first bite.
  • When the magician pulled off an incredible trick, the audience shouted, "Hot damn, how did he do that?
  • The crowd started to cheer for the underdog, yelling, "Hot damn, he's going to win!"
  • Listening to her favorite band's new song, she thought, "Hot damn, this is a hit.
  • After a long hike, reaching the mountaintop, he yelled, "Hot damn, look at that view!"
  • Hold my beer while I attempt this daring stunt; if I pull it off, you'll be saying "hot damn" for sure.

Examples of "Hot Damn" in Pop Culture

This phrase is often heard in movies, songs, and TV shows, usually when something awesome or surprising happens.

Let's check out some pop culture examples:

  • Hot Damn!: Alligators in the Casino, Nude Women in the Grass, How Seashells Changed the Course of History, and Other Dispatches from Paradise by James W. Hall: This book is a collection of essays that explore various topics, from nature to history.
  • Hot 'Damn,' Avril's No. 1 - Billboard: This article discusses Avril Lavigne's album reaching the number one spot.
  • Hot Damn! (Every Time I Die album, 2003): This is a hardcore punk album by the band Every Time I Die.
  • Hot Damn! (Billy Lee Riley album, 1997): This album by Billy Lee Riley explores various themes in its tracks.
  • "Hot Damn" by SJ McDonald: The song is about the excitement and tension in a romantic relationship.
  • "Hot Damn" by Pharrell Williams: The song talks about the artist's lifestyle and success.

Synonyms: Other Ways to Say "Hot Damn"

Here are some other phrases you could use to show you're pumped up or amazed:

  • Wowza
  • Oh man
  • Unbelievable
  • No way
  • Awesome
  • Amazing
  • That's crazy
  • Sweet
  • For real
  • This is lit

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Hot Damn":

  • What does "hot damn" mean?

"Hot damn" is an expression used to show excitement, surprise, or approval. It can be used literally to describe something hot, like food, or figuratively to talk about something that's cool or amazing.

  • How can I use "hot damn" in a sentence?

You can use "hot damn" to emphasize your emotions in a sentence. For example: "Hot damn, this coffee is good!" or "Hot damn, you aced the test!"

  • Is it more common in casual or formal settings?

"Hot damn" is typically used in casual settings among friends or in informal situations. It's not commonly heard in formal or professional environments.

  • Is the phrase considered rude?

While not inherently rude, "hot damn" can be seen as inappropriate in formal or conservative settings. Always consider your audience when using it.

  • Does it appear in songs or movies?

Yes, "hot damn" is a popular phrase in pop culture, especially in songs, movies, and TV shows to add flair or emphasize a point.

  • Is the expression regional?

While not limited to a specific area, "hot damn" is more commonly used in American English and may not be as well understood in other English-speaking regions.

  • Can it be used to describe both people and things?

Yes, "hot damn" can be used to describe both people and things. For example: "Hot damn, she's talented!" or "Hot damn, this pizza is delicious!"

  • Is it ever used in written form?

While more common in speech, "hot damn" can appear in written form, usually in dialogues in books or scripts, or in casual written conversations like text messages.

  • What are some situations where it's best to avoid using it?

It's best to avoid using "hot damn" in formal settings like job interviews, religious events, or when speaking with people you don't know well. It can come off as too casual or inappropriate.

  • Can it be replaced with other expressions?

Yes, if "hot damn" feels too casual, you can use alternatives like "amazing," "incredible," or "wow" to express similar emotions.

Final Thoughts About "Hot Damn"

The phrase "hot damn" is a lively way to express enthusiasm, surprise, or approval. Considering your audience and setting, it adds color to conversations but should be used thoughtfully.

Here's a quick recap:

  • It's a casual expression best suited for informal situations.
  • It can describe both people and things.
  • While it's not usually considered rude, the setting can make a difference.
  • It can be replaced with other expressions if you need to tone it down.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

U.S Dictionary is the premier dictionary about the English language as used in the United States of America.
Copyright © 2024 - U.S. Dictionary
Privacy Policy