Robin Hood could bear any wind but a thaw wind

From International Robin Hood Bibliography

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2014-10-16. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-03-12.

The exact meaning of the expression Robin Hood could bear any wind but a thaw wind, with variations such as "stand" for "bear", "anything" for "any wind", is uncertain, but I think it is testimony to the reality of the experience of wind chill.[1] Uttering this expression would thus amount to an (implicit) assertion that a windy day with temperatures above feezing point can feel colder than a calm day with temperatures below 0C°.

Collections and lists


1831 - Roby, John - Traditions of Lancashire, Second Series (4)

"How long run we on through these great blubbering waves, ere we end our voyage? This night wind is worse than a Robin Hood's thaw."[3]


Brief mention



  1. See Wikipedia: Wind chill. I know from experience that winter typically feels colder in windswept, open Denmark than in sheltered but colder areas of southern Norway.
  2. Hermentrude cites an 1864 Lancashire dialect text, reprinted in Ormerod, Oliver; March, Henry Colley. The writings of Oliver Ormerod (Rochdale, 1901), pp. 105-238, as his source of the majority of the proverbs. I have not found the Robin Hood proverb in Ormerod.
  3. Roby, John. Traditions of Lancashire. Second Series (London, 1831), vol. II, p. 251.