In Reply to: Hot damn! posted by Smokey Stover on March 31, 2010 at 13:22:
: : Does anybody know the origin of "Hot damn!" An outburst from being excited or pleased. This is heard occasionally in America, possibly more Southern in use, but sounds humorous and archaic. It is pronounced only one way, with more emphasis on "hot." I heard it in a John Wayne/Otto Preminger movie, "In Harm's Way," set in the Pacific in World War II with American Naval officers.
: I'm not an expert on "Hot damn!" But I've heard it often, and believe it to be one of those expressions that first became popular among the U.S. armed forces in World War II, then spread to the civilian population. It's probably no more popular in the South than in the north, and is usually pronounced with approximately equal stress on each syllable, sometimes with a lot of stress on both.
[The "hot" in "hot damn!" appears to be a meaningless syllable, as in "hot cha!", a hepcat expression from the jazz age, the 1920s. Adding "hot" to "damn" gives the ejaculator a substitute for "God damn!" - non-blasphemous, yet saltier than "gosh darn!" -B.]