Heritage

Cold As Whiz

Cold as..

Bitter cold has made it’s way to the southern Appalachian Mountains. Tonight is forecast to be the coldest night of the year. The temp this morning was a frigid 16 degrees-in my opinion thats just about cold enough.

When describing just how cold it is, folks can get pretty imaginative like:

  • Cold as whiz (I always say this when it’s cold-I have no clue what it means.)
  • Cold as all get out (again what could this possibly mean?)
  • Cold as a banker’s heart
  • Cold as a well diggers butt
  • Cold as a cast iron commode
  • Blue cold
  • So cold a flame on a candle would freeze
  • Cold as a frog’s butt
  • Too cold to snow (Pap has always said this one-and it always confused me how could it be too cold to snow?)

I know much of the US is experiencing freezing temperatures right now-so how cold is it at your house?

Tipper

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45 Comments

  • Reply
    Nancy
    March 19, 2020 at 10:01 am

    I just found your site. I was looking for the saying Sour as whiz. I was born in West Virginia and it’s a family saying.

  • Reply
    yolanda
    January 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I hope you stay warm and loved these pictures.

  • Reply
    cathy
    January 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Around here they say, “Cold as mess.” I have no idea where the phrase came from, but I’ll tell ya, when I got up this morning it was def cold as mess! Our pipes were frozen. 🙁

  • Reply
    Pamela
    January 17, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Here in the UK it’s warmer than it has been right now although forecast to get cold and snowy again this weekend. We frequently use the expression “brass monkeys”. My 75 year old mother used it over Christmas when she waited for me for 10 mins in the car, saying her father always used the expression – not sure when he would have used it as they lived in the tropics! I asked her if she knew the whole expression but she asked to be enlighted. “Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey”. She wasn’t surprised that it was fairly crude as her father was a captain in the Merchant Navy.

  • Reply
    Pamela
    January 17, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Here in the UK it’s warmer than it has been right now although forecast to get cold and snowy again this weekend. We frequently use the expression “brass monkeys”. My 75 year old mother used it over Christmas when she waited for me for 10 mins in the car, saying her father always used the expression – not sure when he would have used it as they lived in the tropics! I asked her if she knew the whole expression but she asked to be enlighted. “Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey”. She wasn’t surprised that it was fairly crude as her father was a captain in the Merchant Navy.

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    January 17, 2009 at 1:57 am

    My Mother-in-law always said, “It’s cold as kraut” and I never understood that saying.
    Tonight, in Clay Co NC, it is colder than kraut, I’m sure. Brr. I’m glad I’m inside a warm house and snuggly bed.

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson
    January 16, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    These are great. Blue cold was a big one with my dad. Right now we’re just thinking “colder than necessary.” We’re in the 0 range and feeling it to the bone!

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    January 16, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    First let me say how much I am enjoying the Unknown Track-24 on your player. My foot just won’t stop tapping the floor. 🙂
    As you saw on my post, it was -3 this morning. I’ve never heard of ‘cold as whiz’ but I like it. Is it the same as when our Grandpop used to say it was ‘too cold to write your name in the snow’? 🙂 xxoo

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    January 16, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    *laughing* I loved the different expressions used for describing how cold. My favorite because it sounds so poetic is “so cold the flame on a candle would freeze.” I just might start
    using it. Fun post, Tipper! Have a wonderful weekend! :))

  • Reply
    Amy @ parkcitygirl
    January 16, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    nope it’s never too cold to snow 🙂 I just say it’s freezin’ out there! I like the one about the well diggers butt – lol

  • Reply
    Stacey
    January 16, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    We got off easy this time. The cold air was East of us.
    I’m tagging you for a
    6th picture meme
    Check out my blog & see what it is all about.

  • Reply
    Mary
    January 16, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Tipper,
    I also say it’s too cold to snow. It seems that when it is frigid, there is no snow. Warmer temperatures bring cold. When it was warmer here, we had snow. Since the deep freeze moved in, nothing.
    Dad used to say “cold enough the freeze the nuts off a steel bridge.” Extreme cold can do this because the metal becomes so cold that the nuts and bolts snap.
    Thanks for the memories. Enjoyed my visit, as always.
    Be warm and safe, my friend.
    Blessings,
    Mary

  • Reply
    Matthew Burns
    January 16, 2009 at 9:28 am

    I’ve heard some of these before, but not all. I also have heard the “Cold as Whiz” completely different, I always heard it as “Warm as whiz” referring to something being piss warm!
    I also heard the “Cold as a well-diggers butt” only with the butt using different terminology, if you catch my drift.
    Also, I remember regular saying about the cold included:
    “Cold as a Witch’s (mammary)”
    There’s another one that refers to the witch but I don’t know how to tell it without being vulgar (hey, it’s a vulgar saying). It is “Cold as a Witches…” and the last word is also used to describe a little piece of apple that is used when making Apple Pie. It starts with S and is 4 letters.
    But here’s one that’s G-rated, “Cold as a mother-in-law’s heart”.
    Also, we always used the “Blue Cold” as “Blue A$$ed Cold”, I think this came from spending too much time in the outhouse in cold weather. I remember how numb your butt cheeks would get. I don’t miss the butt numbness that would follow when your posterior would warm up once coming back inside.
    Also, we use “Too cold to snow”. It seldom snows very much if the weather gets down low. I’m guessing because cold fronts are dry, and you need moisture in the air for snow to occur.
    Good post.
    Matthew

  • Reply
    Msteri
    January 16, 2009 at 12:56 am

    I am so cold just reading these comments and reading your blog, bundled up in a blanky. It was in the 70’s here in sunny California. We pay for the sun however! 🙂 Many of those cold sayings I have never heard, except for the witches one.

  • Reply
    Renna
    January 16, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Another one I heard growing up in Oklahoma, also mentioned by Farmchick, was “colder than a witch’s tit”. Somewhat crude, yes. ;-Þ
    It’s 23 with a windchill of 13 here in northeast Texas right now. We’ve certainly not broken any records, as we usually do get some cold weather like this each winter, though not much.

  • Reply
    Mary
    January 15, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    It’s awful cold here, too! Tonight our low will be around 10 degrees and all the way up to 34 tomorrow. Makes me want spring to hurry up! Stay warm!!!

  • Reply
    Shirley
    January 15, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    It’s 18 here in sunny NE ARkansas. I’ve heard most of the sayings too, and I agree that they all fit here today.

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    January 15, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Tipper,
    It sure is cold as “gouge” as my mamma says. Had to get out my long johns.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 15, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    It’s cold in Black Mountain, NC. 25 degrees at 12 noon. Ouch! and supposed to be 7 in the morning. I’ve heart the poor cold witch expression most but there was also one about a brass monkey–haha!
    I love these mountains I live in but as I grow older I could do without the bitter cold.

  • Reply
    Farmchick
    January 15, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    My brother in law always says, “It’s colder than a witches tit”. I guess that must be really cold.
    We are in the single digits here, with a forecast of even colder weather tonight. We have two woodstoves running in our old house!

  • Reply
    Patty Hall
    January 15, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Hi, Tipper. Right now here in Blk Mtn it is about 34* on my porch but that wind is blowing and that makes it feel colder. Brrr! It was in the teens this morning.
    I’ve heard colder than blue blazes.

  • Reply
    Patty
    January 15, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I am reporting in from sunny Newport News VA (Near Williamsburg) where it is a sunny 41 this morning. We are suppose to get down to 15 here tonight which for our area is really really cold. Thankfully we rarely get snow here although we will get some mixed with rain which is what they are calling for on Sunday but it won’t stick because it is suppose to remain in the low 40’s. I have heard of it being to cold to snow which I always took to mean that it was so cold there was no moisture in the air to make snow..
    All I know is it is COLD outside!

  • Reply
    warren
    January 15, 2009 at 10:07 am

    I always say “Cold as all get out” and I have no idea why.
    It is 13 right now…supposed to be 0 tonight!

  • Reply
    The Texican
    January 15, 2009 at 8:18 am

    I went out yesterday morning in my tee shirt and sleep pants and it seemed a little cool to me. Apparently they remembered to close the gap up in Amarillo last night. Stay warm. Pappy

  • Reply
    earth heart
    January 15, 2009 at 7:32 am

    It’s 0 here in NE Ohio this morning. Around here you’d likely hear someone say that’s colder than a witches tit.

  • Reply
    Egghead
    January 15, 2009 at 12:13 am

    It is around 38 degrees here so not nearly as bad as it was a couple weeks ago. We have always said colder than all get out.

  • Reply
    Janera
    January 14, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Freezing tamales!
    I don’t know where I got that one, but I say it all the time when it gets, oh, below 40 or so.
    Today? Probably got up to 60. Not too bad.

  • Reply
    noble pig
    January 14, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    I hope you stay warm tonight. We are having beautiful weather in California right now…short sleeve weather and I want cold!

  • Reply
    Louise
    January 14, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    We’ve been having the same temperatures here, but thankfully usually sunny during the day. Doesn’t mean my house warms up, but I can go outside for some 55 degree sun which is nice. My mom would have said, “As cold as a witche’s tit.”

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    January 14, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Well, it was 60 today, but it’s in the 30’s tonight. I think we get down in the 20’s tomorrow night. Balmy by your standards, but too cold for me. : )

  • Reply
    Terry
    January 14, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I am almost embarrased to report that here in NE Okla, at 7:oopm, it is a breezy 25 degrees and dropping fast, supposed to get in the single digits tonite and a high of maybe 15 degrees. It’s colder than all get out, and gonna be a “3 dog nite”, tonite. I wish I had 3 dogs to curl up with, I don’t think the parakeets will put out much heat, nor the snake or the turtles. LOL I gotta gets me some sizable mammals. Preferably some with warm wooly coats. Or maybe I should just turn the heater up a notch and put some socks on, and maybe a cuppa hot tea would help. Lawza Mercy it’s cold. Terry

  • Reply
    Wendy
    January 14, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Don’t hate me but it’s a clear blue sky sunny 74 degrees. This is what we brave the horrible summers for. 🙂

  • Reply
    Vera
    January 14, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    “Baby it’s cold outside”

  • Reply
    Lanny
    January 14, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    PNW and it is forty-three but after our December bout of cold it sure seems warmer than that.
    Too cold to snow!!! I thought that that was strickly a PNWism. Because if we get really cold it usually is only when there is no precip. Our precip comes up from down Hawaii way and so snow around here is when it is right around the thirty-two mark and then only for a day or two.
    When my dad said “it’s too cold to snow.” I took it like he was saying the sky was blue. Yes, it is and that’s the truth. When my brother got all big on himself and said it, I’d just haul off and kick him in his shins and then run.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    January 14, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Tipper: It is 14F with a low of 8F tonight, it will be a high of 10F tomorrow with a low of -4F tomorrow night. I agree with Pap, it is too cold to snow. The weather for snow likes to be around freezing to have good accumulations. Temperatures of 25F to 35F are best for snow.

  • Reply
    nancy Simpson
    January 14, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    My brother Clyde always said, “It’s colder than a witches tit.”

  • Reply
    Becky
    January 14, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    I’ve heard most of yours too, except for the whiz thing. Whiz is something you do when you gotta go. *wink*
    And It was about 20 here this morning. I didn’t look at the thermometer. I “figgered” if I looked at it and it said colder than I thought it was, then I would be colder. And i was already colder than a witches black heart.

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    January 14, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Loved the words….as for the term “too cold to snow” yes, it can be too cold to snow….really. If you ever notice the weather before it snows.. it will be very cold, then if might get a little warmer, it will then start snowing. My grandfather told me this when I was young and especially here in Texas… you can tell when it is just about to snow when the temperature drops. Blessings, Kathleen

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    January 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I know this much: It’s too cold up here to stick your tongue on a flagpole.
    If you’ve ever had to go out in weather like this and chop wood for the stove, if you’ve ever had to split the wood with a wedge, you can appreciate how cold it is when my wife says “Brrrrrrrrrr, it’s colder’n a wedge.
    So this is global warming …

  • Reply
    Janet
    January 14, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    It’s cold as all get out.
    Supposed to get down to -1 tomorrow night.

  • Reply
    TennZen
    January 14, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    It was 16 degrees at my house today. Sweet Pea would have said that “it’s cold as kraut.” Of course, my brother and I always thought she was saying “cold as crap!”
    My uncle has also said that “it’s cold as as frosted frog.”
    Granddaddy, when asked if it’s cold outside, would reply “Yep, it’s a might airish.”

  • Reply
    threecollie
    January 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    It is a balmy 7 degrees here, up from 3 this morning.

  • Reply
    Lori
    January 14, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    It’s 7 degrees here with wind chills of 20 below zero and expected to get colder before the week is out! Double BRRRRRR!

  • Reply
    City Mouse
    January 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I’ve heard “Cold as charity” too.
    It’s going to be 4 degrees tomorrow eve here and our high Friday is supposed to be 5 degrees. Our place upstate, they are talking about 25 below. I think I’ll stay put and stick with the 4!

  • Reply
    trisha too
    January 14, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    it is COLD.
    lots of layers cold.
    hot tea and cocoa and coffee cold.
    too cold to let the chickens out cold.
    but only for a few more days . . .

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