Where did the cliche ‘colder than a witch’s tit’ come from?
Search is your friend.
Strange that not even the master realized that the correct phrase is:
“Colder than a witch’s titty in a brass bra”
in similar fashion to:
“Colder than a brass toilet on the shady side of an iceberg”
Close, but it’s properly truncated to “Colder than a witch’s titty.”
On the brass topic, I’ve often heard “cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.” Well, “often” in the sense of “a couple of times.”
Heh. My personal favorite, and one that can be used in polite company, is “… colder than Hitler’s heart.”
I have pagan friends who use the terms “cold as a christian’s pity”
Having experienced a Pagan boob up close, I can assert that they are soft and warm, and not cold at all.
While we’re at it, where does “dumber than a bag of hammers” come from?
Nitpick: It was a Staff Report, therefore not The Master but one of his Renfields.
No sure but the three dumbest things on the planet are a bag of hammers (pretty dumb), a box of rocks (very dumb) and the OJ jury. (too easy)
Woo Hoo! I know the origins of this!
British sailors used to stack cannonballs in a pyramid, and to keep the bottom row from moving around, they would put them on a brass plate with indentations. A brass monkey. When it was cold, the brass would contract, messing up the spacing of the indentations, and the stacked pyramid would fall over. It was then “cold enough to freeze the balls of a brass monkey.”
I beg to differ on the staff report: it makes no sense. Why “colder”? Shouldn’t it be “dryer”?
While it’s true that witch hunters did look for blemishes and moles and often called them an extra teat (not “tit,” BTW), the first instance of the phrase in the OED is from 1932:
That is long past the days of witch hunts and unless the SD research staff is willing to explain the gap, their explanation doesn’t hold up. Note also the original phrase is “tit,” not “teat.” In addition, Van Wyck Mason was an American author who lived in New York City in 1932, pointing to an American origin.
A more logical and simple explanation is this: Witches supposedly perform their rites in the nude. Thus, a witch’s tit is bound to be cold, especially in winter.
:mad: Damn you, Snopes.
One of his Renfields, eh? :dubious:
In a previous thread on this subject, it was proposed that a program of scientific research be carried out to find out which was colder: a witch’s tit, a whore’s heart, a husky’s nuts in a dogsled race, or a welldigger’s ass.
Oddly enough, everybody volunteered to investigate the thermal properties of witch’s tits. For some reason, no one offered to research husky’s nuts or welldigger’s asses.
It’s not at all clear to me why a welldigger’s ass should be cold. I’ve actually dug a well, which is hard work; and I can tell you, my ass, along with the rest of me, was hot and sweaty while doing it.
The idea is that once you’ve hit the water table, you’re going to be standing butt-deep in chilly water.
Was the well you dug dry?
Ground water is a fairly constant temperature year round, usually around 45 to 50F. And if we take the time of year to be January (as indicated in the Masters column referenced upthread) well then, it’s 50F in the excavation which is quite pleasant considering that at the top of the hole it is often colder than a witche’s tit.
Well, no, I just didn’t wait until the water was ass-deep!