Words nearby hot mess
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does hot mess mean?
Hot mess is used to describe a particularly disorganized person or chaotic situation. In some uses, a person described as a hot mess is attractive but just barely keeping it together.
Where did the term hot mess come from?
The phrase hot mess didn’t always describe a person or a situation. The original use was actually culinary. In the early 1800s, a hot mess was nothing more than a warm meal, especially a gloopy one. Think mess as in mess hall, or cafeteria. An elementary school Sloppy Joe, was definitely a hot mess.
From there, the meaning of hot mess expanded to messy situations outside the cafeteria. By the 1900s, we were describing any chaotic situation and any confusing or disordered person or thing as a hot mess.
The hot mess train kept going, first appearing on Urban Dictionary in the early 2000s, around the time hot mess spread as a term for a fashion and style descriptor. The term saw a spike in popularity in 2007 with Christian Siriano’s controversial Project Runway tagline, hot tranny mess, and with the release of BET’s Hot Ghetto Mess, a show inspired by the popular website of the same name. In both cases, the hot mess in question was a hopelessly shabby, unfashionable, all-over-the-place person.
Hot mess saw an increase in interest again in 2009 with the release of pop band Cobra Starship’s album titled Hot Mess, bringing a sexy subset of hot messes to the forefront. The title track of that album tells the story of a young woman living the unhealthy life of a partier but looking sexy doing it.
Hot messes that you’re confusingly attracted to don’t have to be people, though. Searches for hot mess spiked again in 2013 with the release of fast-food restaurant Jack in the Box’s Hot Mess burger. Spicy-hot and demanding a whole roll of paper towels to eat it, the burger featured pepper jack cheese, onion rings, and jalapeño peppers.
How to use the term hot mess
Anything that’s a particularly disorganized disaster can be described as a hot mess nowadays. Today, describing someone as a hot mess sometimes has an implicit sexual connotation, especially when describing women. If she’s a hot mess, she’s trouble, but you want her anyway. Some users pun on the sexual innuendo of the hot in hot mess …
I’m a hot mess… minus the hot… and triple the mess lol 😆😅
— Taylor Todd (@tatodd97) July 17, 2018
… while others pun on the heat of the hot mess, especially when posting sweaty workout pictures.
— The Verge (@verge) May 30, 2018
More examples of hot mess:
“Before I publicly embarrass myself with photographic evidence of attempting the art of dance, allow me to just quickly sum up my dance skills for you: …I don’t have any. Put me on a treadmill, a spin bike, hell, throw me into a pool (I’d actually rather you not, though, as I’m kind of a sensitive swimmer), and I’ll do the damn thing with beauty, grace, Miss United States. But … dancing? God, I’m a hot fucking mess on the dance floor.”
—Sarah Kinonen, Allure, September 2017
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
How to use hot mess in a sentence
She moved to Florida in the summer of 2015 to join the fledgling American Sports Network, an experience that was, at times, “a hot mess,” but gave her valuable reps covering a variety of sports.Monica McNutt’s rapid rise at ESPN continues with ‘Around the Horn’ debut|Scott Allen|February 18, 2021|Washington Post
She’s a hot mess, and you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from her.The New Class of Comfort TV: 16 Shows to Watch When You Run Out of Friends and The Office|Eliana Dockterman|February 10, 2021|Time
Your 2020 taxes could be a hot mess, and the coronavirus is whyThe stimulus money was paid out in two separate rounds.Tax season kicks off Feb. 12. Here’s what to expect.|Michelle Singletary|January 19, 2021|Washington Post
If you’re mad about one of the most anticipated games of the decade turning out to be a hot mess, don’t worry.
“There’s almost an expectation for a percent of the market that it’s okay at this point in time, just because 2020 has been such a hot mess,” Glomski said.Deep Dive: How to grow e-commerce capabilities on Amazon|Pierre Bienaimé|December 15, 2020|Digiday
Gay marriage was the hot-button fight on the left and right.
Everybody is trapped in an elevator together and tempers run a little hot.‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS|Marlow Stern|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Even the hot Jewish women I mentioned above did something a bit more “intellectual” than pageantry: acting.
There was deep brown flesh, and bronze flesh, and pallid white flesh, and flesh turned red from the hot sun.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’|Asawin Suebsaeng|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Many Jewish women have been accepted as conventional, mainstream hot.
In the drawing-room things went on much as they always do in country drawing-rooms in the hot weather.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
“You appear to feel it so,” rejoined Mr. Pickwick, smiling at the clerk, who was literally red-hot.The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, v. 2(of 2)|Charles Dickens
Nearly half the regiment ran to secure their picketed horses, armed themselves in hot haste, and galloped to the gaol.
News came that the rebels were plundering the British quarters, and the infantry went there in hot haste.
From Canada on the north, to Texas on the south, the hot winds had laid the land seemingly bare.The Homesteader|Oscar Micheaux