Off the boil

Posted by Smokey Stover on October 16, 2005

In Reply to: Off the boil posted by ESC on October 15, 2005

: : What is "off the boil?"

: : I suspect it means not excited (hot) to do something. But I have to use it in a play and it seems to imply that my husband stopped wanting to have sex. Is it always meant to be sexual? Or does it apply to other things as well? Thanks.

: I've never heard it in the U.S. I'll check my reference books. It makes me think of old wood cookstoves. If you wanted a pot or kettle to boil, you moved it to a hot part of the stove right over the firebox.

And if you move it off the hot part of the stove, or off the burner on a modern stove, the kettle is now "off the boil," and the phrase has been often used that way. But of course it may have a figurative use, as well. SS