Hot Lips

Major Margaret Houlihan (Loretta Swit), the humorless, career Army nurse on the military comedy M*A*S*H/CBS/1972-83.


Margaret  earned the nickname “Hot Lips” because of her passionate, extracurricular activities with married Army doctor Major Frank Burns (Larry Linville) stationed at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War.

During the 1977-78 season Margaret married (and later divorced) Colonel Donald Penobscott. Margaret’s father (Andrew Duggan) was nicknamed “Howitzer” Al Houlihan by his military cronies.

Note: The “Hot Lips” moniker  originated in the movie M*A*S*H (1970) when actress Sally Kellerman played the movie role of Margaret Houlihan. During a wild romp with Captain Frank Burns (Robert Duvall), Margaret screamed “Oh Frank, my lips are hot…kiss my hot lips.”

Unfortunately, for both Margaret and Frank their steamy interlude was broadcast over the camp’s loudspeaker via a microphone planted under Margaret’s army cot. Henceforth, she was known as “Hot Lips.”


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Medicine, Military, Workplace Nickname

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