Hot to trot

Hot to trot is an idiom that is decades old. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom hot to trot where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Hot to trot describes someone who is eager to do something. Most often, the idiom hot to trot describes someone who is eager to have sex. The expression hot to trot came into use in the mid-20th century from Black American jive talk; it refers to a horse that is eager to break out of the starting gate during a race. Though it is increasingly used to simply mean eager to do something, many consider hot to trot a lascivious slang term, so be careful in deciding when and how you use it.


Kelly Brook looked hot to trot in a barely-there dress as she raised temperatures in her latest sexy calendar. (The Mirror)

Most documented signals exchanged between male and female birds center on hot-to-trot bachelors flashing their most appealing traits, such as dazzling plumage or nest-building prowess, to coax lady birds into having sex with them. (The Atlantic)

By contrast, it’s clear from Treasury secretary Dr Stephen Kennedy’s big speech last week that he’s hot to trot with a new round of economic-rationalist inspired micro reform. (Sydney Morning Herald)

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