As the weather gets hotter, we get hotter too! This post will teach you some common English idioms about HEAT that you can use right away. Talk about the weather and how it makes you feel.
The Idiom take the heat means to receive or put up with some criticism (for something that was done poorly).
“My boss isn’t happy with our project, I am the senior member of the team so I took the heat.” = I received the boss’s criticism for the team’s project.
Take The Heat – meaning
Today’s idiom “Take The Heat” has a literal meaning (a basic or usual meaning). It means to endure hot temperatures.
This is a perfect expression for summer.
- “It’s 40 °C today! I can’t take this heat anymore.”
As an idiom, the expression “Take The Heat” means To take the blame; to be the focus of anger or scrutiny; to take the consequences.
- “The local government has been taking some heat over the recent tax increase. People can’t see any benefit to public services even though the city has been earning more revenue from higher taxes.”
You can see in this example that we can change the with some and still keep the same meaning. The government is receiving criticism for a recent tax increase. *A tax increase is often called a tax hike in English.
- “My boss isn’t happy with our project, I am the senior member of the team so I took the heat.”
We can also say things like:
- “I am the senior member of the team so I took most of the heat.”
It’s also common to just say take heat meaning to take criticism, pressure, or negative attention.
- Elon Musk took heat from some employees at Twitter.
The examples above use different tenses of the verb to take. Taking (continuous) and took (past). Here are some examples of this idiom in the different tenses of the verb to take.
|To take Infinitive
|“Someone has to take the heat for this mess.”
|Take Present simple
|“It will be bad if I take the heat, the boss is already mad at me.”
|Takes Present simple Third-person singular
|“How about Oliver he never takes the heat.”
|Took Past simple
|“That’s not true, Oliver took the heat the last time we had a problem.”
|Taking Continuous tense
|“I just walked past the boss’s office, someone from accounting is taking heat right now.”
|Will take/Is going to take Future tense
|“The boss is in a bad mood today so somebody is definitely going to take heat for this. Let’s vote on who.”
When heat is used to mean pressure or negative attention we often use it with the preposition “OFF” to show that someone or something has taken the pressure away from someone else.
- “My Dad was mad about my loe test score, but he was even angrier at my brother because he scratched the car last night. This took some heat off me.”
- The thieves decided to lay low until the heat was off.
(To lay low means to try not to be noticed LINK) The thieves decided not to do anything that would draw attention to themselves until there was less pressure from the police.
Did you know?
Miami, Florida’s NBA team is called the Miami HEAT.
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen
Here’s another famous expression that uses the word heat that means: If you cannot handle the pressure, you should not be in a position where you have to deal with it.
This was first said (according to Wiktionary) by the 33rd president of the United States. Harry S. Truman.
It’s also common to replace the verb stand with take – If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen
- A: “Being a paramedic is much harder than I first thought.”
B: “It’s a rewarding job but it’s not easy. If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen.”
Beat the heat
The verb beat can mean to overcome or defeat someone or something in a game or battle.
“We beat last year’s champions in the final match. The team was so happy!”
So can you guess what beat the heat means?
Beat the heat means to defeat or overcome hot weather. To keep cool when the weather is very hot.
Click the link below for an English news story about how to beat the heat. The article is from this original post in 2014 but the tips are still helpful. A lot of the vocabulary in the story is advanced so newer English students might take a pass on this.
Tokyo is very hot in the summer, but I think some of my blog readers live in places that are even hotter. Here are a few ways that I use to Beat the Heat.
- Wake up early
– Early in the morning the temperature is still cool so it’s the perfect time to exercise or get started on my work for the day.
- Put a frozen plastic bottle of water in front of my fan
– This cools the air that blows across the room. It’s nice.
- Wear a cool towel around my neck
– A towel soaked in cool water cools my neck and head. It makes me feel comfortable on hot days.
I sweat buckets every summer. Maybe you can imagine already what this idiom means.
Sweating Buckets means: sweating a lot. Buckets are used to collect water, and often in an emergency.
When a boat (a small boat) is filling with water this is a problem, the boat could sink. We use a small bucket to take the water out of the boat. (It is called a “bailing bucket”)
Another problem is if we have a leak in our roof or ceiling and water is dripping down on the floor. When this happens we use a bucket to collect the water.
A boat filling with water and a leaky ceiling are both problems, the feeling is that there is too much water. If we are sweating a lot the feeling is usually not good, and we are uncomfortable. We use the word bucket in our expression to show that it’s too much.
- “It’s so hot today, I’m sweating buckets.“
- “I was sweating buckets and had no appetite at the peak of my fever.”
How about you? Do you sweat a lot in the summer? Are you sweating buckets? I am!
Hot Vocabulary – swelter/sweltering
Let’s learn a new word to describe when we are feeling very hot.
swelter verb to be very hot in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable
www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com – swelter
- “Passengers on the bus sweltered after the air conditioner broke down.”
The pronunciation is SWELL-TERR
We also sometimes describe the temperature (heat) with the adjective form, sweltering.
sweltering adjective very hot in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable
www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com – sweltering
- “All the people riding the bus were sweltering.”
How about in your native language? Do you have similar words or expressions to describe the HEAT? Tell me in the comments below.
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