Piping hot

Piping hot is a term that goes back at least as far as medieval times. We will look at the meaning of the term piping hot, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Piping hot means extremely hot, boiling hot. It is most often used in reference to food that is extremely hot. The term piping hot goes back at least as far as medieval times, and is found in The Miller’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer, published in 1390: “He sente hir pyment meeth and spiced ale / And wafres pipyng hoot out of the glede.” The term is sometimes ascribed to the Scottish practice of playing bagpipes while bringing in dishes at feasts. This is incorrect. The term piping hot is simply a comparison to the whistling, sizzling sound made by steam as it escapes from extremely hot food, or a tea kettle. The term piping hot is properly rendered with a hyphen when used as an adjective before a noun, as in piping-hot.


This uncomplicated dish is best when it is served piping hot and with all its fresh vegetables still nice and crunchy. (The Business Mirror)

The dish is served in a molcajete, a bowl traditionally made of basalt lava stone that keeps the food piping hot. (The Janesville Gazette)

Instead, homey creations such as potato salad and coleslaw are happily at home with baskets of piping-hot fried chicken that vary from “original” to “extra hot.” (The Globe & Mail)

So, while we sit in front of the screen cheering for our favourite PSL team and the hunger strikes, we can simply play a hook shot by ordering some piping-hot food from McDonald’s, KFC, Broadway, Subway, OPTP and many more! (Branding in Asia Magazine)

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