Hands up everyone who has heard this expression; “Winter Draws On”?Grandmothers are brilliant at coming up with such sayings but have you ever wondered about their origin? In the UK this expression first appeared in 1799. It was the translation for the Danish ‘Det vinbres, bliver kold’ and was published in the Ernst Wolff’s Danish/English dictionary of that year (En dansk og engelsk ord-bog,). It crossed the pond in the 1850’s and has been used ever since!
In 1949 the BBC banned the phrase due to its innuendo but that did not stop scriptwriters who produced such plays as ‘Below the Waist’. Any mention of Ladies Garments was very much frowned upon.
So we have a conundrum on our hands. It obviously refers to the onset of winter, the change from the mild and hot temperatures of the summer sun and the cold frosty nights and mellow mists of Autumn and Winter. But there is also the belief, that Ladies of a certain age, would swap their cotton undergarments for woollen warmer ones as the weather turned colder.