Posted by Smokey Stover on April 26, 2005
In Reply to: Cold snap posted by DRC on April 25, 2005
: : : : I just heard this term from my mother last night. We live in Arkansas and she said it is when there is a cold snap in spring just before it gets really hot. She said she had heard this all her life and she is 75!
: : : It's a very common phrase in the UK for any sudden cold spell, not necessarily just before spring.
: : Pretty common up here in the Northeastern U.S., too.
: Very, very common in Colorado, and I'm not just talking about the phrase.
The snap part of cold snap seems related to the snap of snapping jaws in that it is rather abrupt and short in duration. OED, s.v. snap: b. A sharp and sudden frost; a short spell of cold weather. Chiefly in cold snap (very common in recent use).