The past few days it has been cold in NYC, temperatures dropping into the teens and the wind chill factor making it a few degrees less than reported. It reminded me of the word gelid. But there must be other words to describe this freezing, icy temperatures we have been facing. Apparently, there is not a shortage of words that is synonymous with ‘cold’/’freezing’/’icy’.
I like this word that is found with gelid on thesaurus.com:
1. Classical Mythology – one of a people supposed to live in a land ofperpetual sunshine and abundance beyond the north wind.
2. an inhabitant of an extreme northern region.
3. of or pertaining to the Hyperboreans.
4. (lowercase) of, pertaining to, or living in a far northern region.
Latin hyperbore ( us ) Greek hyperbóreos beyond the north wind,northern, polar ( hyper- hyper- + boréas the north, the north wind) +-an; see Boreas
The sketch to the right is someone I saw in on the streets bundled in these Hyperborean temperatures, and my boss who one day walked into the office in that garb!
Quote:In the winter of ’46-7 there came a hundred men of Hyperborean extraction swoop down on to our pond one morning, with many carloads of ungainly-looking farming tools…. I did not know whether they had come to sow a crop of winter rye, or some other kind of grain recently introduced from Iceland. As I saw no manure, I judged that they meant to skim the land, as I had done, thinking the soil was deep and had lain fallow long enough. They said that a gentleman farmer, who was behind the scenes, wanted to double his money, which, as I understood, amounted to half a million already; but in order to cover each one of his dollars with another, he took off the only coat, ay, the skin itself, of Walden Pond in the midst of a hard winter.
– Henry David Thoreau