Colder than a Witch’s Tit – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did a friend tell you ‘it’s colder than a witch’s tit’ outside? This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.

Meaning

The expression ‘colder than a witch’s tit’ refers to very cold conditions. The phrase can refer to temperatures indoors or outdoors, but it’s more common for people to use it to describe outdoor temperatures.

Cold is a subjective feeling. One person’s interpretation of cold could be very different from another person’s view of cold conditions. However, if it’s ‘cold as a witch’s tit’ outside, you can expect it to be chilly, regardless of who’s saying the statement or where you are in the world.

Example Usage

“Man, it’s colder than a witch’s tit outside. The weather is insane this winter, and it feels like the north pole in this office. Someone crank the thermostat.”

“Don’t go out there. It’s colder than a witch’s tit. If you don’t have a jacket, you’ll freeze to death in a few minutes. The cold isn’t playing around today.”

“You think this weather is bad? Come back to my hometown in Calgary in the winter. It’s colder than a witch’s tit, and you’ll freeze to death.”

“It’s colder than a witch’s tit out here today. Today was the wrong day to decide to go to a football game. The stadium is going to be freezing.”

“Let’s rather stay home and watch movies today. I’d love to go to the park, but it’s colder than a witch’s tit out there.”

“Do we have to go out to the grocery store? It’s colder than a witch’s tit out there. Let’s just order online and have the delivery guy bring it over.”

“I’m glad I don’t live in Maine. Did you see the forecast? They say it’s going to be -21F there tomorrow. That’s colder than a witch’s tit.”

“It’s cold as a witch’s tit outside. I’m not getting out of bed today. I’ll call my boss and tell him I’m sick. I’ll do that right after making a big mug of hot chocolate.”

Origin

The expression’ colder than a witch’s tit’ originates from the earlier expression “The inside of a cloud is cold as a witch’s kiss,” published in the Illinois newspaper ‘The Daily Register-Gazette,’ in June 1918.

Some language experts mistakenly attribute the rise of the saying to Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General, in the 1640s, but this is not the case. The expression is much more recent, having come to light in the 1900s.

The first appearance of the expression in English occurred in 1932 by American writer and historian Francis Van Wyck Mason. His novel ‘Spider House’ is the first mention of the term in its modern format, ‘It’s cold as a witch’s tit outside.’

Phrases Similar to Colder than a Witch’s Tit

  • Cold as balls.
  • Freeze the balls off a brass monkey.

Phrases Opposite to Colder than a Witch’s Tit

  • Warm weather.
  • Hot as hell.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Colder than a witch’s tit.

Ways People May Say Colder than a Witch’s Tit Incorrectly

The expression’ colder than a witch’s tit’ has nothing to do with witches or their breasts. It’s a way of describing bitterly cold weather. The phrase usually suits cold winter weather. Using it to describe somewhat colder weather than normal is incorrect.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Colder than a Witch’s Tit

You can use the expression ‘colder than a witch’s tit’ to describe overly cold conditions. The term is subjective, meaning that what one person finds cold, another might find mild. For instance, people in Northern Canada will have a different perception of cold compared to those in Key West, Florida.

If the weather is ‘colder than a witch’s tit,’ it’s one of the coldest days of the winter. The saying suits social use with friends, family, and colleagues. You could arrive at work and tell co-workers it’s ‘colder than a witch’s tit’ outside, or you could meet with friends and use the saying to comment on the cold weather.

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