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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 37

Word: Hot Mess

From humble grub to humblebrag. Words by Pip Usher. Photograph by Annemarieke van Drimmelen.

Etymology: First coined to describe a hot meal, the term’s sloppy connotations quickly morphed from food-related to figurative when it came to reference a chaotic yet appealing individual.

Meaning: Stand-up comedian Amy Schumer has amassed a multimillion-dollar fortune through being a hot mess. Her ribald humor—which riffs on binge-drinking, body parts and bad sex—has established this identity as her shtick, so much so that billboards advertising her show, Inside Amy Schumer, were branded with the phrase.


This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Seven

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