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Picture of Caterwauller
posted
I can understand why we say things like "boiling hot" and "steaming hot", as their meaning seems obvious to me. Why do some people say "piping hot"? Why piping?


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
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Posts: 5149 | Location: Columbus, OhioReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of zmježd
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Hmm. See link.
quote:
He singeth brokking as a nightingale.
He sent her piment, mead, and spiced ale,
And wafers piping hot out of the glede:
And, for she was of town, he proffer'd meed.
"[F]rom the similarity between the sizzling sound of food cooking in a frying pan and that of musical pipes, from Canterbury Tales".


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Kalleh
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Well, this is a little after Chaucer's time, but this is what the OED says:
quote:
Of food, liquid, etc.: so hot as to make a whistling or hissing sound. More generally: very hot. Occas. of a person, the weather, etc.

c1390 [see sense 1]. a1586 (a1500) Freiris Berwik (Maitland) l. 356 Thair is ane pair of capounis pypand het [1568 Bannatyne het pypand]. 1601 P. HOLLAND tr. Pliny Hist. World II. 141 Beanes..fried all whole as they be, and so cast piping hot into sharp vineger. 1657 R. LIGON True Hist. Barbados 10 When we had climed..Being painfully and pipeing hot. 1707 J. STEVENS tr. F. de Quevedo Comical Wks. (1709) 234 A Mutton-Pye,..piping hot out of the Oven. 1761 L. STERNE Life Tristram Shandy IV. xxvii. 176 The chesnut, some how or other, did fall perpendicularly and piping hot into it. ?1809 S. T. COLERIDGE Madman & Lethargist in Poems 1787-1833 415 He fell, Like devil piping hot from hell. 1826 Let. 11 July in G. Jones Sketches Naval Life (1829) 180 Coffee is brought piping hot, and so they drink it. 1844 DICKENS Martin Chuzzlewit xlv. 517 Attended by another being with an oblong box upon his head, from which a banquet, piping hot, was taken out and set upon the table. 1888 J. W. BURGON Lives Twelve Good Men II. xi. 316 The day having been piping hot. 1904 J. LONDON Sea-wolf xxxix. 362 At seven a substantial and piping hot breakfast put new life into me. 1945 H. GERBER Fish Fare 56 Smoor in pan till the fish is brown and tender; serve piping hot. 1985 L. BLUE Kitchen Blues 124 Sprinkle the bananas with castor sugar..and lemon juice, and eat them piping hot.
Sense 1 that they referred to was the Chaucer quote above with this definition: "Shrill, high-pitched; whistling; having a shrill, high-pitched, or weak voice; (Eng. regional (south.)) wheezing. Recorded earliest in piping hot adj. at Special uses 1."

Interesting question, CW!
 
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Picture of Caterwauller
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I posed the question to Mike and Si, and Simon suggested it was something to do with a whistling tea kettle. Not far off the mark! My son is a genius!


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
Posts: 5149 | Location: Columbus, OhioReply With QuoteReport This Post
<Asa Lovejoy>
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And what did your hubby say?
 
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Microwave instructions often carry "ensure food is piping hot before serving" on the packs. That's quite apposite since a lot of food tends to make whistling noises when in the microwave.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 10930 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Caterwauller
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quote:
And what did your hubby say?

I think he laughed, then groaned and said - nah, that seems to easy.


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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