Someone call the burn unit

Just saw this post on Imgur and I am not sure about the title. Does that mean that the person has seen something that is really a sore to the eye so he is asking others to call the burn unit to come and rescue him? I couldn't find a better context for this phrase.


2 Answers 2


One slang meaning of "burn", particularly in American English, is "insult (someone) in a particularly cutting way." This can be used as either a verb or a noun. For example, if Fred insults Jack in a particular witty or brutal fashion, a third party might exclaim "Damn Fred, you really burned him!" (verb) or alternatively "that was a savage burn!" (noun)

In this case, the tweet is calling Selena's music trash (insult), and the author of the imgur caption is describing this insult as a burn, considering it especially sharp or cutting (I'm not sure I would agree, but that is beside the point). The person who has (rhetorically) been burnt here is Selena; the person who burnt her is the twitter poster; the imgur captioner is (humourously, metaphorically) calling the burn unit on Selena's behalf.

The burn(s) unit is a specialist department in a hospital, dealing with (actual!) burns, who would not typically respond to on-site emergencies.

  • What insult? Selena is hot, she's burning the viewers with her hotness...
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 22:12
  • Good answer, but it might be helpful to explain "calling the burn unit on Selena's behalf." As we can see, the original poster doesn't quite understand the meaning of burn unit (which cannot "come and rescue" anyone, since it's a hospital ward, not a team of doctors, or EMTs, or anyone who could "come" anywhere).
    – Juhasz
    Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 22:31
  • Thanks, Steve, for the detailed explanation!! Now I can understand why the show our ESL teacher showed us in class is called Comedy Central Roast.
    – cupofJoJo
    Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 23:11
  • And thanks @Juhasz for pointing "the burn unit" out, I just learned the expression " call the ambulance" so just figured the burn unit would show up and offer on-site treatment as well. :-p
    – cupofJoJo
    Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 23:15
  • 1
    @cupofJoJo - yes, "roast" is related slang. It is effectively a sustained version of burn. Like a burn is a one off insult, a (comedy) roast is a series of insults. Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 23:21

It means the lady in the picture is hot (sexy).

The viewer has been "burned" by her hotness and needs emergency help from the burn unit.

The burn unit is referring to a unit in a hospital that treats burns.

This is a JOKE. :)

  • 3
    It's a joke, but not the one you think. @stevekeiretsu above has it right. The singer has been "burned" (i.e., insulted) by having her music compared to trash. (I am not the downvoter.)
    – user105719
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 0:22
  • @user105719 There is no definitive reading here. Sorry to tell you. The poster looks completely wasted. elle.com/culture/celebrities/a29689717/…
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 6:08
  • 3
    @Lambie You're looking at a picture of Selena Gomez wheeling a trash dumpster out to the curb with the caption "Selena taking her music for a walk" and you think there's no "definitive reading"? Sorry to tell you, but there is, and it has nothing to do with the link in your last comment. The punchline (i.e., the burn) of the jibe is that Gomez' music is trash. By the way, I am not the downvoter.
    – user105719
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 8:47
  • @user105719 You call the burn unit if you are hurt by being burned; you call the trash people to burn your trash. So the post is one big flop. You don't call the burn unit to burn your trash. I was trying to show that. So,she needs to clean up her post for other readings. As a flop, my reading is correct.
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 23:26
  • 1
    Yes, that's the function of a burn unit, which ZWhite33 says to call for Selena Gomez, who has been "burned" by atKelseHison's snarky comment comparing Gomez' music to trash. No one is burning trash. Selena Gomez is just wheeling a trash bin to the curb, an occasion for atKelseyHilson to say that that's the proper container for Gomez' music. As for being correct, your reading is a flop. Or you're just trolling me. I'm still not a downvoter.
    – user105719
    Commented Feb 2, 2020 at 0:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .