Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am looking for a word to describe a person who really suffers when it's cold. Let's say, cold is not their cup of tea. And (maybe) with a nuance that they are over-sensitive.

John is so [the word I'm looking for]; It's just 5C and he's wrapped up in two sweaters and a winter coat!

share|improve this question
    
I live in Los Angeles, but spend a good deal of time among the Russian expat community here - and I have noticed that Russians tend to find LA winters very cold; certainly colder than natives do. I'll be wearing jeans and a T-shirt, and my girlfriend - who used to live in a much colder place - will be shivering under three layers of fleece. I jokingly call her безкровница - "bloodless one". –  MT_Head Jan 24 '13 at 6:46
2  
Do not use three exclamation marks in a row. Ever. It achieves nothing except making the author look like they dropped out of elementary school. –  RegDwigнt Jan 24 '13 at 9:54
add comment

6 Answers 6

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Nesh. But you might find that few people understand this.

Nesh is an English dialect adjective meaning unusually susceptible to cold weather and there is no synonym for this use. Usage has been recorded in Cheshire, Staffordshire, the East Midlands, Lancashire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Shropshire.

It includes over-sensitivity — my hardy friend calls me this when I moan about the cold.

share|improve this answer
1  
+1 For knowing this bit of English arcana. –  user21497 Jan 24 '13 at 0:19
    
Good find, but yeah - I doubt you'd be understood. –  Lynn Jan 24 '13 at 18:08
add comment

You're probably looking for cold sensitive or thin blooded. There is no common single adjective that I know of for that idea, just the technical term thermosensitive. Here in Taiwan, I always use "Taiwanese", however, because many southern Taiwanese are just like "John". When the temp drops to below 20C, they wear arctic-quality parkas & complain about the cold: "It's freezing!"

share|improve this answer
add comment

My grandmother would have referred to such a person as a chilly mortal. I can only find a passing reference to this online where the term is defined as meaning nesh.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Note that you can change "so" which conveys a characteristic, to "such a " which allows you to use generalisations (usually nouns or qualified nouns).

You could make up a word that was especially understandable.
eg "John is such a cold-o-phobe" would convey your meaning well.

"Drama queen" (maybe only in some countries)

"so cold sensitive..." - polite and explains clearly

"so fussy ..." impolite

"such a comfort lover ..."

share|improve this answer
add comment

I've heard the terms 'reptile' or 'reptilian' being used in this way. The intent is sometimes more about someone who stays inside and doesn't do anything when it is cold, rather than someone who is up and about but rugged up and/or complaining about it. None the less I have heard it used (and used it myself) in the general sense of someone who is sensitive to the cold.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I'm a bit inclined this way so use the phrase 'cold-blooded' to describe my dislike of intense cold, which is the same as describing reptiles that need to lie in the sun to warm up.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.