What does in heat mean?
To be in heat can be described as being in a state of sexual excitement which immediately precedes ovulation. For instance, you could say “the dog is in heat, so we have to keep her locked inside” This expression tends to apply to the majority of female mammals as it indicates the time in which the animal is most receptive and fertile to mating.
Where does in heat originate from?
To find out where in heat originates from, we must first discover where the term bitch comes from. The term bitch originates from the Old English word Bicge or bicce which means female dog. This word dates back to the Old Norse word bikkia which also means female dog. The word dog has also been used to insult both men and women, in fact, in Ancient Greece, dog was used to refer to an individual that behaved in a shameless manner, lacked hospitality, loyalty, as well as one one that was excessively or indiscriminately violent.
Over time it could be said that the persistent symbolic connection between women and dogs in that time was expressed via greek literature. It was a way to reinforce the subordinate positions of women within Greek society as well as their supposedly inferior nature.
It can also be said that there is a connection between the Greek goddess Artemis and the more expressive senses of the word bitch. Given that Artemis is the goddess of the hunt, she is generally portrayed having a pack of hunting dogs with her. She even transforms into an animal herself. Artemis in the ancient world was seen as vigorous, free, cold, unsympathetic, impetuous, beautiful and wild.
This brings us to the earliest reference of the words bitch, how it became a derogatory term and how in heat is connected to it. The earliest recorded use of bitch as a derogatory word for women is found in the 15th century. At that point, it was one of the earliest slangs used to mainly refer to sexual behaviour. The earliest found applications were to women that were sensual or promiscuous. It can be seen as a metaphorical extension of bitch in heat, which literally means a female dog that has come into her fertile and acceptable mating period. It is here that the original insult son of a bitch was created. The insult was most likely shortened to just bitch for ease but it still alluded to the woman in question being described as loose sexually and of no morals.
3 examples of how to use in heat in a sentence
Using in heat in a sentence to signify that your animal has reached a state of sexual excitement which happens prior to ovulation:
“It is that time of the year again for our cat. She is in heat, so we have to lock her up in the house. We definitely do not need any new kittens running around”
“As spring comes around, new live appears in the wild, clear evidence that the last time this animal was in heat was successful.”
“Did you hear that stary cat screeching and howling all last night? She must be in heat”
“What is wrong with you, you’ve been staring at nearly every girl that’s come into the bar. Why are you acting like you are in heat? You need to calm down!”
Using in heat to allude to something inappropriate
“While on my trip to Munich, there was a time I asked a German shopkeeper for a heisser Hund which literally means a hot dog. You wouldn’t believe that she burst out laughing. Yeah, apparently heisser Hund in German is used to refer to a dog in heat.
Using in heat in informal settings to talk about an attractive person
“Can’t believe little Andy grew up to be so good looking. He definitely looks like he is heat”
“He came back from summer camp like he is in heat”
“Have you seen that new student? She looks so good; I think I am in heat”
“I always thought she was quite attractive. Nothing was like the first moment I set my eyes on her. Seeing her, I couldn’t help but think to myself, I just had to talk to her. You wouldn’t believe how many times she crossed my mind; I feel like I am in heat”.
“I noticed her the moment she walked into the room. Looking as pretty as always. She would definitely have all the lads in heat if they set eyes on her.”
“The moment when I laid eyes on her, you would not believe it, I just had to make a beeline straight to her an introduce myself. I felt like I was like a dog in heat.”