When you think of something being “hot off the press(es)”, you undoubtedly think of a newsroom ready to distribute the latest Earth shattering headline. The term has come to mean, not only a breaking news story, but anything creative including writing, music, art or other kind of project that has just been completed and is waiting for an eager public to consume. While, you would be correct in this assessment, why would it be called “hot” if the paper isn’t actually going to burn you?
Back in the early part of the 20th century, molten lead was used to print newspapers. The introduction of the term “hot off the press(es)” is clearly alluding to the hot metal process that went into making the paper.
This expression started to be used around press rooms such as with the The Trenton Evening Times out of New Jersey, July 1910:
“Just hot off the press, and a strictly up-to-date cut price sheet of great value to housekeepers.”
Even after the methods to make papers no longer required hot molten lead to print; the term “hot off the press” was firmly entrenched into our collective vocabulary as referring; to something fresh and newly made.