One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(In folklore, fairy tales, etc.) a female spirit or supernatural being associated with ice and snowy landscapes.
2Informal (chiefly derogatory) an unfeeling or emotionless woman; (in later use) specifically a woman (especially a beautiful or alluring one) who is regarded as cold or unresponsive.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Mary Howitt (1799–1888), writer and translator.
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