What does the expression “to turn the heat on” mean and Where does it come from?

The expression “to turn the heat on” seems originally to have been underworld slang, probably a rough interpretation of “to be grilled” in its figurative sense.

It means, to be subjected to a severe cross-examination, as by police officers in grilling a suspected criminal; but of course in ordinary use a youngster will say that his dad turned the heat on when asking how the fender of the car got dented.

The expression is quite recent.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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