Hot-blooded


What's the meaning of the phrase 'Hot-blooded'?

Having a passionate nature, or being inclined to quick temper.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Hot-blooded'?

Score another for the Bard of Avon. Shakespeare was fond of combining simple words into expressions of poetic imagery (sorry sight, fancy free, primrose path, to list just a few) – he was a consummate poet of course. ‘Hot-blooded’, or a Shakespeare wrote it ‘hot-bloodied’, first appears in The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1600:

Falstaff: The Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the minute draws on. Now, the hot-bloodied-Gods assist me!

The Dutch word ‘heetbloedig’, meaning ‘passionate; hot-tempered’ is recorded from 1619 (as heetbloedigh). It may be that Shakespeare got the word from the Netherlands but, given the dates and his track record, it is more likely that the expression travelled in the other direction.

Trend of hot – blooded in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.