According to the following dictionaries the expression nice and is an adverbial locution which is used to give more emphasis to the adjective that follows:
According to M-W nice and is synonym of very
very —used to emphasize a good or enjoyable quality
- The soup is nice and hot. Make sure your room's nice and clean. The library is always nice and quiet.
and Collins suggests that the meaning is:
- pleasingly, (altogether, in a pleasing way)
How did the above usage originate?
The conjunction and actually joins two adjectives, so how does and actually work here, changing the literal meaning of the expression?
Would I like the tea nice hot be unacceptable vs I like the tea nice and hot?