Northeast American (Vermont) Proverb

Tags: Vermont, Northeast America, Proverb, Salem Witch Trials, Expression


“Colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra in the snow”

Informant Info

Race/Ethnicity: White

Age: 22

Occupation: College Student

Residence: Vermont, USA

Date of Performance: February 2024

Primary Language: English

Other Language(s): N/A

Relationship: Friend


BB, the informant, was born and raised in Vermont.


“Colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra in the snow” is a proverb used to specify how cold it is outside (aka very cold). It is often used by those residing in Northeast American states where the winters are notoriously cold. Vermont is one of these states. 

Vermonters are known for their biting humor and funny way of talking. In addition to being influenced by their geographical location, they are highly influenced by the political, social, and economic historic events of neighboring states. One of these events was the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts. These trials were held in the 1690s where people were accused of and tried for practicing witchcraft. The accused were often women.

As for the literal meaning behind the saying, brass is a metal. Metals are thermally conductive, meaning that when in contact with something hot, they heat up; when in contact with something cold, they become colder. Putting on a cold article of clothing in a sensitive area is a very cold experience.