a hot mess

Darla Wells lethe9 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 21 21:04:27 UTC 2010

I've been hearing this at a call center where I was working this summer in
Carencro, Louisiana. I was thinking it was a very local expression in this
particular workplace or a Cajun expression I was unfamiliar with. That
brings up a question: what do you call those expressions you hear in a
workplace that all the insiders know and the rest don't? For example, they
say "I'ma cut you," when playing around in there and everyone knows it is
coming from the youtube video about Bon Cui Cui and Burger King and is an
expression concerning good service/bad service. "Hot mess" seems to be
another such reference there.

2010/8/21 Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      a hot mess
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I've heard this several times, but only in the past couple of weeks.
> UrbanDictionary.com gives most imaginable nuances:
> http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hot%20mess . The many
> hundreds of thumbs up or down show how common the phrase is.
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible
warning. -Catherine Aird

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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