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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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  • 2
    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". Jul 3, 2014 at 20:37
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    Ultrahot seems good to me, so you can close this topic.
    – Archa
    Jul 3, 2014 at 20:40
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    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 :-) ). Jul 3, 2014 at 20:43
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    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. Jul 3, 2014 at 21:01
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    Baking, broiling, burning, scorching, cooking, anything that connotes being cooked, heated, or burned.
    – ErikE
    Jul 4, 2014 at 4:34

13 Answers 13

57

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

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

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56

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

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  • 4
    That was the first word that popped into my mind as well. Jul 3, 2014 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, 2014 at 21:20
37

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

Sweltering

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18

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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  • 13
    Dude. You need to see a doctor. Jul 4, 2014 at 7:38
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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. Jul 5, 2014 at 20:06
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"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. Jul 4, 2014 at 9:25
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    More appropriate for newspeak.stackexchange
    – rschwieb
    Jul 4, 2014 at 14:35
2

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, 2014 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, 2014 at 16:53
1

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, 2014 at 23:47
1

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". Jul 4, 2014 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, 2014 at 6:15
  • @MrLister would you please explain what the difference between thawing and melting is?
    – boileau
    Jul 5, 2014 at 19:46
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    @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. Jul 6, 2014 at 8:04
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    @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. Jul 6, 2014 at 8:08
0

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. Jul 3, 2014 at 21:23
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    For me, sweltering implies humidity as well.
    – Jim
    Jul 3, 2014 at 22:52
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    I have never heard the weather described as "ultrahot". Jul 4, 2014 at 7:39
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    "Ultrahot" is a new one to me. "Roasting", "Sweltering", "Scorching", and "Boiling" are all more common to me. Jul 4, 2014 at 15:31
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    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.
    – ocodo
    Jul 7, 2014 at 7:36

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