The term "crash hot" is often used in the negative, such as "I'm not feeling too crash hot today". I am trying to find out when the term was first used and why. I have used Internet search but have not found anything about its origin.

  • 1
    I never heard of crash hot (as opposed to "I'm not feeling too hot today", meaning I'm feeling weak/lethargic). Can you either explain or post a link to something telling us what difference you think adding crash makes? Nov 4, 2014 at 17:05
  • This is indeed my question. Where did the "crash" bit come from? I think Josh's answer below provides some good information. "Extremely" seems to fit. Nov 4, 2014 at 17:48
  • I always assumed crashing bore was some kind of conflation with crushing bore (whose ramblings weigh you down), and that a crash diet was a sudden, fast one (crashes being things that happen quickly). The more general extension to very, extremely doesn't really strike a chord with me. Nov 4, 2014 at 17:54

2 Answers 2


Its usage seems to have been increasing since the 80's/90's mainly in Australia. Its origin is not clear, probably from 'crash' in the sense of 'extreme'.

Crash hot (from wiktionary)

  • (slang, Australia, New Zealand) Very good, excellent; very well. Well well well, don′t you look crash hot in your new sunnies!
    • I'm sorry boss, I can′t come in to work today, I′m not feeling too crash hot. 1991, Antonio Casella, The Sensualist, page 28, Certainly Nick isn′t too crash hot on the old pen, something which he admits freely.

Origin: (from yourdictionary.com)

  • Perhaps a nonstandard adverbial usage of crash (“extremely”) + hot (“performing well”).

The following extract refers to crash hot as a mid-80s Australian expression:

  • I was young and living in Australia with muscles that worked. My time in Sydney wasn’t all wasted, though: I did buy a pair of Hot Tuna boardshorts – they were crash-hot (authentic mid-80s Aussie slang).

According to The Dictionary of Contemporary Slang di Tony Thorne, the expression might be an euphemism for shit-hot.

Ngran crash hot

  • Perhaps that crash = extremely sense is also primarily Australian, which might explain why I've never heard it in the UK. Presumably related to the now-somewhat-dated crashing most commonly encountered in "He's such a crashing bore". Nov 4, 2014 at 17:11
  • 1
    A 'crash diet' comes to mind with the meaning of 'extreme'.
    – user66974
    Nov 4, 2014 at 17:15
  • @Josh. Very useful answer +1. I had forgotten how nifty (there is a word that should come back) the ngram viewer can be! I am still hoping someone may know who came up with the term or first used it in the open media. Nov 4, 2014 at 17:41
  • It's common to use terms like "smashing" ("smashing time") or "bang" ("bang in the middle") for emphasis, as well "crashing" which has been mentioned, as so this is probably a similar phenomenon.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 6 at 9:29

From my understanding growing up in Australia it was a "spannerhead" term, which meant the engine was running hot ready to break down or crash to bits. Hence, too crash hot.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.