Hot as a coal. The expression has an obvious allusion
To post the coal
or cole To pay or put down the cash. Coal=money has been in
use in the sporting world for very many years. Buxton, in 1863, used
the phrase “post the coal,” and since then it has been in frequent use.
Probably rhyming slang “Coal,” an imperfect rhyme of gool =gold.
(See page 248, Chivy and page 266, Coaling)
“It would not suit me to write, ... even if they offered, ..., to
post the cole.” —Hood.
Burnt brandy The ancient way to set brandy on fire was to drop in
it a live or red-hot coal.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Coal from Fact Monster:
- coal tar - coal tar coal tar, product of the destructive distillation of bituminous coal. Coal tar can be ...
- coal gas - coal gas coal gas, gas obtained in the destructive distillation of soft coal, as a byproduct in the ...
- coal - coal coal, fuel substance of plant origin, largely or almost entirely composed of carbon with ...
- bituminous coal - bituminous coal: bituminous coal: see coal.
- cannel coal - cannel coal: cannel coal: see coal.