Piping Hot

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Piping Hot : Phrases


Very hot, usually referring to food.



In Scotland, ceremonial dishes of food are often brought to the table to the accompaniment of bagpipes, i.e. they are 'piped in'. This could easily be imagined to be the origin of 'piping hot'. It isn't though. The derivation of this little phrase is the sizzling, whistling sound made by steam escaping from very hot food, which is similar to the sound of high-pitched musical pipes.

An early citation of the phrase is given in Philemon Holland's translation of Pliny's Historie of the world, 1601:

"Beanes... fried all whole as they be, and so cast piping hot into sharp vineger."
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