Expression: Colder than hell


Could you please explain the meaning of colder than hell to me?

Does it mean very cold? What is the origin?


Yes, Tom, ‘colder than hell’ means ‘extremely cold’. The word ‘hell’ is often used as a (usually) negative intensifier:

  • colder/hotter/darker/noisier/worse, etc. than hell

  • mad/crowded/bored/frustrated/burning/angry, etc. as hell

  • freezing/raining/snoring/working, etc. like hell

  • looking like hell warmed over…

And there are also the idioms
when hell freezes over” (which means never)
until hell freezes over” (which means forever).

Could you please tell me the meaning and use of this idiom?
Again it was difficult to find it on Google! :shock:


PS: I think there should be a booklet available on Google!

Hi Tom

I think that’s an alternative way to say “look like death warmed over”:

Sometimes idioms have variations, so doing a Google search can be tricky. In the idiom above, you can also use “feel” instead of “look” and sometimes you’ll hear “warmed up” instead of “warmed over”.

Try a Google search with:
“warmed over”

  • OR -
    “warmed over” idiom

For all hell idioms generally (there are a lot of them):
hell idiom