Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026876, Sat, 20 Feb 2016 22:06:50 -0200

SF "amputation of an arctic" - answer to the old query
Jansy Mello asked (Sunday, 10 Jan. 2016): what does “deep snow had performed the amputation of an arctic” mean? [I only managed to collect etymological data about the word arctic itself: late 14c., artik, from Old French artique, from Medieval Latin articus, from Latin arcticus, from Greek arktikos "of the north," literally "of the (constellation) Bear," from arktos "bear; Ursa Major; the region of the north," the Bear being a northerly constellation]. J. Aisenberg was so kind to reply ( 13 Jan.2016) : On the "deep amputation" quote: in context the narrator describes people running up a snowy hill followed by a groan. Isn't the meaning then that someone's leg or legs have sunk into the snow, figuratively amputating the limbs; the "arctic" in this context meaning "of or pertaining to the cold conditions which created the snowy hill?"

Today I was surprised to learn what the word “an arctic” indicates from a Brazilian friend who is translating “Spring in Fialta”. It means, simply, a galoche. The definition begins with a description of “a waterproof overshoe lined with fur.”

At first, by using my internet resources I reached something like it that was called “Joan of Arctic fur lined boots”! (what a pun) I had to insist before I found:

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:

Switch to <http://www.freethesaurus.com/overshoe> new thesaurus



overshoe - footwear that protects your shoes from water or snow or cold

<http://www.thefreedictionary.com/galosh> galosh, <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/golosh> golosh, <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/gumshoe> gumshoe, <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/arctic> arctic, <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/rubber> rubber - a waterproof overshoe that protects shoes from water or snow

<http://www.thefreedictionary.com/footgear> footgear, <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/footwear> footwear - covering for a person's feet

Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


(ärk′tĭk, är′tĭk)


Extremely cold; frigid. See Synonyms at <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cold> cold.


A warm waterproof overshoe.




1. (Placename) of or relating to the Arctic: arctic temperatures.

2. informal cold; freezing: the weather at Christmas was arctic.


3. (Clothing & Fashion) US a high waterproof overshoe with buckles

4. (modifier) designed or suitable for conditions of extreme cold: arctic clothing.



1. (often cap.) of, pertaining to, or located at or near the North Pole: the arctic region.

2. coming from the North Pole or the arctic region: an arctic wind.

3. characteristic of the extremely cold, snowy, windy weather north of the Arctic Circle; frigid; bleak: an arctic winter.

4. extremely cold in manner: a look of arctic disdain.


5. (often cap.) the region lying north of the Arctic Circle or of the northernmost limit of tree growth; the polar area northof the timberline.

6. arctics, warm waterproof overshoes.

[1350–1400; Middle English artik < Middle French artique < Latin arcticus < Greek arktikós northern, literally, of the Bear=árkt(os) bear (see <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Ursa+Major> Ursa Major) + -ikos <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/-ic> -ic]

arc′ti•cal•ly, adv.

Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


A type of waterproof overshoe.

Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited

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