Cold temperatures and wintry weather have long inspired poetry and prose. Perhaps it’s the invigorating chill or the gorgeous sight of freshly fallen snow that brings ideas to the minds of writers. Consider the vast amount of poetry written about the season. In “Dust of Snow,” Robert Frost describes how a dusting of snow knocked down on him from a hemlock tree uplifted his mood “and saved some part of a day [he] rued.” The amazing beauty of a winter sun dazzled Robert Louis Stevenson in “Winter-Time.”
Lewis Carroll wondered “if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.’” Perhaps you are not a poet, but you might have used some poetic idioms like “a cold snap” or “in the dead of winter.” What exactly is a cold snap and how did this idiom begin? The etymologies of these winter idioms will intrigue you.