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On very cold days, someone can say that it's freezing outside. On very hot days of summer, can someone use cooking or any antonym of freezing, if one exists?

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Have you looked up antonyms of freezing? Have a look here (Merriam-Webster.com, always a good start in research) and let us know whether something sounds right, or what sounds "off" about the choices they give. After that, we'll be able to help. Without that, it's possible your question might be closed for "General Reference". – Matt Gutting Jul 3 '14 at 20:37
Ultrahot seems good to me, so you can close this topic. – Archa Jul 3 '14 at 20:40
And there you go! I know we have a list of what counts as "General Reference" for the site; I can never remember where it is kept. I'm sure someone can come along and post it, but you can also look around yourself. Checking the General Reference for information is always good; it helps us give you a better answer (and makes things a bit more fun and interesting for us :-) ). – Matt Gutting Jul 3 '14 at 20:43
And @Archa, by the way, before we close the question you should post "ultrahot" as your own answer. Maybe even tell us a bit about why you like the term. – Matt Gutting Jul 3 '14 at 21:01
Baking, broiling, burning, scorching, cooking, anything that connotes being cooked, heated, or burned. – ErikE Jul 4 '14 at 4:34

13 Answers 13

It's both a British and US colloquialism to use 'boiling'.

Also referenced here: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/boiling

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or "roastin' m8" – Lightness Races in Orbit Jul 4 '14 at 16:07
Boiling is not so common at all in the US. Sweltering, scorching, and even "burning up" are much more common. – TylerH Jul 5 '14 at 1:44
@TylerH I'm from the US and I use "boiling". – cpburnz Jul 5 '14 at 15:43
@cpburnz Okay, I didn't say it wasn't used, only that it wasn't as common as other terms. – TylerH Jul 5 '14 at 18:49
Also, freezing often refers to water, so boiling is an appropriate opposite. – Wilf Jul 6 '14 at 0:17

I've also heard scorching used; it seems to describe the condition of the pavement quite well.

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That was the first word that popped into my mind as well. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 3 '14 at 22:33
I see this in writing a lot and it's a common word but I've never (or maybe very rarely) used it or heard it in casual conversation - it might depend on location, though. – Jason C Jul 4 '14 at 21:20

While 'boiling' is a commonly used option, my suggestion would be 'sweltering', as it removes any possible ambiguity.


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I like boiling as the opposite of freezing (freezing point vs. boiling point), but I don't really like boiling in terms of weather. The weather can be literally freezing, but it has never been literally boiling. So I think sweltering is better. – pacoverflow Jul 3 '14 at 21:35
@pacoverflow That depends what liquid you're talking about! Obviously true for water, at atmospheric pressure, anyway but, for example, acetaldehyde boils at 20C and diethyl ether boils at 35C (68F and 94F, respectively). – David Richerby Jul 3 '14 at 22:18
@pacoverflow: the opposite of "freezing" is "melting" or "thawing". "Boiling" is more appropriate since freezing and melting by definition both happen at the same temperature ;-) But sure, it's hyperbole. – Steve Jessop Jul 3 '14 at 23:10
@bib: I'm not sure it has an opposite, any more than "90 degrees in the shade" has an opposite. I just meant that since "freezing" is a process as well as a temperature, it has a precise opposite on that basis. For temperatures we're talking about relative opposites, temperatures that fall either side of what you consider normal. So opposites can't be precise, and when we say "freezing" is the opposite of "sweltering", I don't think we mean exactly the freezing point of water. It's figurative, innit? – Steve Jessop Jul 4 '14 at 0:41
'Sweltering' has the added connotation of extra humidity, while the others do not. – Mitch Jul 5 '14 at 21:38

I'm from Arizona where the weather is scorching and the people are roasting.

It's freezing outside. It's scorching outside.

I'm freezing. I'm roasting.

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Dude. You need to see a doctor. – Gustav Bertram Jul 4 '14 at 7:38

I'm surprised nobody mentioned blistering yet, which refers to intense heat.

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As no-one else has addressed this specific point: Cooking is used in this sense in Australia at least.

Cooking seems to capture the feel of being in an oven in such conditions. I personally would probably only use it in temperatures well above blood heat.

With regards to the other words suggested:

Boiling and scorching are common in the UK. I vaguely recall a tabloid headline 'What a scorcher'.

It seems to me that boiling is hyperbole, as others have noted.

Scorching is however literally true, just like freezing can be.

Freezing is also used in the UK and especially Australia in a non-literal sense.

Torrid is of course also correct provided it is a dry heat. I don't hear spoken much (anyone differ?), but it is definitely written use.

Sweltering is valid if there is humidity, and in common use in verbal and written forms.

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RE: The tabloid headline for some reason it has become some sort of ironic tradition for newspapers to use the headline "phew! What a scorcher" on a regular basis. – Martin Smith Jul 5 '14 at 20:06

"Baking" would be the closest term usable as per it's definition.

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Doubleplus uncold

On topic: I've heard of "it's burning hot outside" before

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My +1 for 1984. – András Hummer Jul 4 '14 at 9:25
More appropriate for newspeak.stackexchange – rschwieb Jul 4 '14 at 14:35

Don't disregard "hot" just because of its simplicity.

The other answers here are good; particularly "boiling", "blistering", and "scorching", but I feel that most of the words here are used more in descriptive writing than in casual conversation (based on personal experience; not concrete evidence).

If I were to start up small talk with, for example, a person waiting at a bus stop, or if I were to walk outside and comment on the weather to my neighbor, I would generally say:

  • Cold: It is freezing out here!

  • Hot: It is hot out here! (I know this is boring and perhaps obvious, but emphasis on "hot" will convey the intensity as much as "freezing" does.)

  • Hot: It is hot as Hell out here!

  • Hot: Damn, it's hot!

You can use analogies, such as:

  • It's like an oven out here today!

You can add intensity with incredulity, e.g.

  • I can't believe how hot it is!

You can also qualify "hot" with an adverb to increase intensity:

  • It is incredibly hot out today!

  • It is insanely hot out today! (colloquialism)

  • It is ridiculously hot out today!

Or if it's already understood that it is hot (e.g. the person you are speaking to is outside with you, perhaps sweating), things as simple as:

  • Can you believe this?

  • Where did this come from?

  • Wow!

  • It's crazy out there! (esp. if you say this upon walking indoors, sweating)

If indoors or in a cooler space you can also use the contrast with the cooler environment to convey the heat, for example:

  • Thank God for air conditioning!

  • Wow, it feels good to get out of that heat.

  • I'm not leaving this room until winter! (when in a cool room on a hot day)

However, when writing, where more poignant words are more commonplace than in spoken conversation; words like burning, scorching, boiling, etc. are very good.

In general, nearly any word or phrase that brings one of the following to mind will be understood as conveying intense heat:

  • Fire

  • Hell

  • Cooking

  • Melting / Boiling / anything else that is a consequence of high heat (e.g. "blistering", "scorching", etc.)

The word "hot" itself does go a long way on its own, though, and shouldn't be overlooked.

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This would have been an OK answer if you had stopped after the second paragraph. – Mr Lister Jul 5 '14 at 14:38
@MrLister What's the issue with the rest? I want to remove or edit if it is bad advice. – Jason C Jul 5 '14 at 16:53
+1 for "hot as Hell" – Ken Liu Jul 6 '14 at 13:53

How about “torrid”?

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That depends on the climate. Our summers are humid, so torrid is not correct (definition of Merriam-Webster: very hot and usually dry). – Archa Jul 3 '14 at 23:47

Sweltering is a good antonym and is more related to weather than boiling is.

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I've heard "I'm melting" used before. It has the advantage of being a literal opposite to freezing in addition to being a figurative opposite.

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You might say "I'm melting", you would never say "It's melting outside". – Dave Magner Jul 4 '14 at 14:06
The literal opposite to freezing would be thawing. But that's not what the OP meant. Edit: Oh, I see this is already being covered in other comments. – Mr Lister Jul 5 '14 at 6:15
@MrLister would you please explain what the difference between thawing and melting is? – boileau Jul 5 '14 at 19:46
@boileau "Freeze" is used to mean either "a liquid turning to a solid" (like when you make ice cubes) or "the water in something turning to ice" (like when you put chicken in the freezer). "Melting" is the opposite of the first sense; "thawing" of the second. – David Richerby Jul 6 '14 at 8:04
@MrLister No, not at all. Freezing for any particular substance implies a particular temperature: water does it at 0C, alcohol (ethanol) at -114C and so on. We don't normally talk about iron "freezing" simply because it's already a solid at temperatures that are normal to us. But the saying that iron melts at 1538C is exactly the same as saying that (molten) iron freezes at 1538C. And see my comment to boileau for the distinction between melting and thawing. – David Richerby Jul 6 '14 at 8:08

With the help of two members, I answer my own question.

boiling and ultrahot seem to be correct.

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Sweltering is better. – Dave Magner Jul 3 '14 at 21:23
For me, sweltering implies humidity as well. – Jim Jul 3 '14 at 22:52
I have never heard the weather described as "ultrahot". – Gustav Bertram Jul 4 '14 at 7:39
"Ultrahot" is a new one to me. "Roasting", "Sweltering", "Scorching", and "Boiling" are all more common to me. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Jul 4 '14 at 15:31
Ultrahot is about the worst attempt in this whole thread, you might as well say it's flippin' mega-hot - Certainly fine if you're Sue Townsend. – Slomojo Jul 7 '14 at 7:36

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