• deathly cold? it's thought of as underground, where it's dark... ?
  • Because like the saying, "that is gay," used in the context of dislike or something unpleasurable, " hell" is used in the same context but as a comparison. Although the comparison is inaccurate.
  • Within Islam and Christianity, hell is traditionally depicted as fiery. Some other traditions, however, portray Hell as cold and gloomy. Another example of common use of “Hell” in daily language, a “cold day in Hell” is a paradox and an idiom for a most unlikely event, since most imagery of Hell depicts it as hot and fiery. Therefore, an event that will transpire “on a cold day in Hell” will never occur. Similar or related phrases include: “a snowball's chance in Hell”, "a cat in hell's chance", “when the devil goes ice-skating” and “when Hell freezes over", which was used as the title for the rock band The Eagles first album in 14 years, referring to statements by the band that The Eagles would reunite when Hell Freezes Over. Another idiom relating to Hell, that would be used with a request is "And People In Hell Want Ice Water". In Dante's Inferno, the innermost circle of Hell is represented as a frozen lake of blood and guilt. Buddhism speaks of cold hells (Naraka).
  • As far as I'm aware the phrase refers Dante's Inferno and the frozen lake that comprises the ninth level of hell, which is reserved for traitors: It is divided into four sections. The sinners are in a frozen lake, Cocytus. 1) Caina: Traitors to Kin. These are immersed in the ice with head down. 2) Antenora: Traitors to Homeland. 3) Ptolomea: Traitors to Guests. They are head up in the ice, which is freezing their eyes. 4) Giudecca: Traitors to Benefactors. These sinners are completely immersed into the ice The ice of the 9th circled is kept frozen by Lucifer's six flapping wings. Lucifer has three faces, with three mouths, each chewing on a sinner: Judas is in the middle mouth with his head inside, Brutus and Cassius are in the side mouths, with their heads hanging out.
    • Anoname
      Your study on this exceeds my own. I thought satan himself was supposed to be frozen in a lake of blood on the 9th level. You said he's free from the bloody ice - which makes more sense.
  • "people" does not include me. I prefer "it's balls cold outside".
  • Former "swear words" are now just meaningless blathering. They don't mean any more than er, um, well, I mean, ya know.
  • Kinda makes hot as hell a little more inviting, huh? Nope....I think I'll change directions and go north!!!
  • i don't know i prefer "it's freakin' freezing"
  • The phrase "as hell" is used generally for "very." I think looking for a connection between hell and cold is the wrong approach here. I would like to know how "as hell" acquired this meaning, though. If anyone has an answer to that ....
  • Hell, Michigan, Does get cold. :P
  • They are oxymoronic.
  • i think its coz 'hell' is a bad place so if your cold as hell your cold very bad
  • It comes from Dante's writings and descriptions of hell
  • "hell" as with other stronger words, is used as an intensifier, meaning it adds strength to the emotion or concept being portrayed. sort of the same as saying that something "tastes like crap" not because it tastes like feces, but because it tastes really bad, and saying that someone is "strong as hell" because they are really strong.. other intensifiers are usually swear words for example, and most all intensifiers do not actually make contextual, literal sense. such as "cold as hell"
  • They may be referring to an old story by Dante called Inferno (a portion of his Divine Comedy play) At the center of Hell at the feet of Satan the damned are buried up to their necks in snow as the Cerberus (Hounds of Hell) gnaw at their necks for eternity. The continuous beating of Satan's wings which fan the flames of hell doom the most wicked to eternal frozen torture. In other words the worst part of Hell is actually the coldest part reserved for the worst sinners. Over time this phrase evolved out of this to what we hear today. Read Dante and you will see the connection.
  • Unless you attended seminary or Bible college, you probably do not realize that the Hebrew and Koine Greek words of your Bible which have been translated into the English language as "Hell" actually are nothing but references to posited places in Hebrew and Greek mythology, and to "Gehenna," the former ever-burning municipal landfill or garbage dump of the Old City of Jerusalem, formerly located outside of Jerusalem's Dung Gate. (Nowadays, Gehenna, the former landfill or town dump, is gone. Only a rocky valley remains.) The bodies of Hebrews who had been executed for serious crimes were unceremoniously tossed into the fiery pit of Gehenna (the town dump) instead of being given a proper Hebrew burial. This punishment after death was loathsome to believing Hebrews. Nowadays, if you go to "Hell," that is, the rocky valley where the town dump formerly was located, you best take with you a bottle of potable water and some sun lotion because the sun often makes the valley hot as "Hell"! Actually, "Hel" was the ancient goddess of the underworld of Germanic mythology. That mythological underworld was posited to be cold, not hot. Thus, our folk expression that, "It's as cold as Hell." Ref:

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