Poll warns "Colder Than A Witch's T!t" and other phrases in danger of dying out

Originally published at: Poll warns "Colder Than A Witch's T!t" and other phrases in danger of dying out | Boing Boing


It will truly be a sad day for the English language when people no longer use the traditional insult for all occasions: “Up your nose with a rubber hose.”


Well shiver me timbers! – I would be a fish out of water if I didn’t open my daily random idiom generator… Random Idiom

I try to use the phrase daily in my conversations… :slight_smile:

Right after I successfully figure out that darn daily 5 letter word puzzle.


Welcome Back


Or “sit on it!”

Anyhow, idioms evolve and change like language does. One of enjoyable parts of aging is being able to use the good old phrases and not caring what other people think about you.


If I may jump on the bandwagon here, I’d take this with a grain of salt. I may only use these expressions once in a blue moon, but not recognize them? Stop pulling my leg.

Even if this is the gospel truth, they’re making a mountain out of a molehill. When all’s said and done, every cloud has a silver lining, and if we never have to see “tow the line” on a website again, I say that’s worth throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Have to go. It’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey this morning, and I’m afraid my carburetor may have iced up.


And people are always coming up with new idioms or new spins on old ones. I’m still trying to make “The fog was so thick; you couldn’t cut it with a knife” and “Dead as a fly in the soup who is definitely not doing the backstroke; don’t be ridiculous” happen!


…we all know that the media love a story that kills off an old tradition

I still use most of these


To be honest, not many of us has felt a witches tit. I’m 64 years old and have been around a bit and have missed out on that experience completely. I am however willing to give it a go if the opportunity presents itself and will report back on how cold it was, if successful.


You should never see “tow the line” to begin with, you should see “toe the line”.


I’m not sure how common, but I recall an extended expression: Colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra…


I’ve always preferred “cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey” anyway.

I say this without any sarcasm: I’ve known a lot of witches and some of them were truly warm, caring people, and while I never felt their breasts I doubt they were all that cold.


My dad, after giving me a good talking to, would often finish with, “put that in your pipe and smoke it!”

Also, I use some of these phrases several times a week and I’m only just sub 50 yo fwiw.


No really, they’re rarer than hen’s teeth these days. Extinction though? That dog won’t hunt. Don’t hide your light under a bushel, I say. If you’ve got the linguistic chops, why play it close to the vest? These phrases are a conversational ace in the hole, a diamond in the rough. Or perhaps I am preaching to the choir, strewing pearls before swine?


I remember seeing a show on TV in Japan that had a segment about “dead age”—the age which divided the population between understanding and not understanding a word or phrase.

They’d go out and ask people in the street if they understood something, and record their answer and their age. Then they’d poll the “tarento” panel to have them guess what the age was where nobody knew the thing anymore.

Pretty funny to see the young people not know certain things that of course old people were flabbergasted they didn’t know; equally funny to see old people not know even somewhat stale slang or names of new things (e.g. “garakei” = Galapagos keitai = pre-smart mobile phone used only in Japan).


I know a self-identifying witch who uses that phrase regularly. Maybe only witches are allowed to use it…


i think i used all these phrases last week, let alone recently. to me, these numbers just mean that young people don’t read anything older than a few years old.



I’m pleased to see that I know all of the idioms in the survey (and my mother still says “colder than a witches tit”), but I am displeased to realize that I hardly ever use any of these myself, and my children haven’t really heard them. I’ll need to remedy that.

I rather think that was the point of that comment.