Years ago, someone told me the it came from the FP-45 Liberator pistol, which certainly cost about $2. A cheap pistol prefer that would obtain hot; but because it was a single-shot, ns don’t think it would get hot enough to evoke the phrase.

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When and also where did the phrase originate?


I constantly thought it supposed a stolen gun that offered cheap ~ above the street. (Hot definition stolen in this case.)


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GaryM:

Yep, steal gun passed roughly on the street is what I’ve always heard.

It’s no an expression I’m familiar with, but this would certainly be my check out on it, too.


From The phrase Finder:

Hotter than a two-dollar pistol - very hot, one allusion come cheap 19th-century pistols that go warm when fired. From the Mountain range chapter,“Facts on record Dictionary of American Regionalisms: local Expressions from coastline to Coast” through Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, new York, 2000). Web page 376.


“That gal’s hotter 보다 a $2 pistol” definition that you’d no be adverse to spending part time through her.


I’d speak it has actually a much more negative connotation: someone hiding out from the cops is “hotter than a $2 pistol” for everyone hiding that or approximately him. I can think of more uses of it that way than together in “damn, she’s hot!”

I’ve likewise heard it offered for heat-hot: “Damn, that lawnmower’s hotter than…” “That sun is…” “This room is…”

But metaphorical bad-heat trouble is what I’d put as definition #1.


Although i have heard the phrase, ns think that is actual use is rare. Interestingly, Ngram Viewer for "two dissension pistol"shows a sharp increase in printed use from about 1964 come 1977 and then a precipitous drop indigenous 1978 come 1985.


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Amateur_Barbarian:

I’ve additionally heard it supplied for heat-hot: “Damn, the lawnmower’s hot than…” “That sunlight is…” “This room is…”

This is how dad offered it. (We lived in the desert, y’see…)


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rsa:

Although i’ve heard the phrase, i think that actual usage is rare. Interestingly, Ngram Viewer because that "two dollar pistol"shows a sharp rise in published use from about 1964 come 1977 and then a precipitous drop native 1978 to 1985.

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Maybe you have to account for inflation. (Apparently, over there is a “$3 pistol” variant.)


Hotter 보다 a $2 pistol is going come mean, hot as in do not want to host it because that any period of time. IF someone offered you a handgun because that $2 they wanted it the end of their hands for deniability purposes.