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It's cold enough for a walking stick

Posted by Gary Martin on February 04, 2010 at 15:52

In Reply to: It's cold enough for a walking stick posted by Peter Rogers on February 04, 2010 at 15:42:

: "It's cold enough for a walking stick" was a saying used by someone I knew years ago, he would have been born around 1919. I have an idea what it means; The handle of a walking stick used to be screwed on, it was also hollow. I believe people used to fill the handle with whisky or brandy to warm them up on their journey, hence the saying. It's only a guess though.

It does seem to be a colloquial English saying, although I'd not heard it before. Maybe it could derive from the ground being icy? As it happens, it is here in Yorkshire today, making the pavements slippy enough for a stick to be useful.

Following your idea, my father and uncle always often to say it was 'cold enough for extra tea-bags', which was their euphemism for 'cold enough to add whisky to the tea'. I'm sure they made that up themselves - and they didn't always wait for it to be especially cold.