Old Man Winter is a personification of winter.[1][2] The name is a colloquialism for the winter season derived from ancient Greek mythology and Old World pagan beliefs evolving into modern characters in both literature and popular culture.[3] He is usually depicted as an old man, often blowing winter over the landscape with his breath, or simply freezing the landscape with his very presence.[4]


Humans have associated the winter season with deities, e.g., the ancient Greek god of winter Boreas, and in other cultures including Celtic mythology with the goddess Cailleach and goddess Beira.[3] Over time, the old gods of winter changed to new humanizations of the seasons, including Old Man Winter.[3] Among the Potawatomi people of the Western Great Lakes region, there exists a myth about Old Man Winter, called Pondese in their language.[5] Old Man Winter was a character in Iroquois legends.[6]

Popular culture


"His breath roared out from his lips, Stopping all streams at their source. The feet of Old Man Winter walked upon the earth, freezing all the grass."

— Nancy Wood[7]


Sports and games



Food and drink

See also


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary
  2. ^ Farlex Dictionary
  3. ^ a b c AccuWeather: Winter tales and myths: Where did Old Man Winter, Jack Frost come from?[better source needed]
  4. ^ Old Man Winter: The Personification of the Coldest Season
  5. ^ Neely, Justin; Velie, Alan R. (2018). "Pondese: Old Man Winter and Why We Have Spring Today". In Palmer, Gus (ed.). When Dream Bear Sings: Native Literatures of the Southern Plains. University of Nebraska Press. pp. 51–54. ISBN 978-0803284005.
  6. ^ a b Powers, Mabel (1917). Stories the Iroquois Tell Their Children. New York, NY: American Book Company.
  7. ^ a b Wood, Nancy (1974). Many Winters: Prose and Poetry of the Pueblos. New York, NY: Doubleday. ISBN 0385308655.
  8. ^ Brain, J. Walter (2015). "The Poet at Walden II". The Concord Saunterer. 23: 135–146. JSTOR 44484707. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  9. ^ Dorne, Albert (1941). "Old Man Winter". Modern Graphic History Library, Washington University in St. Louis – via JSTOR.
  10. ^ "Keep "Old Man Winter" Out". North Carolina Digital Collections. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  11. ^ "Old Man Winter Bike Rally & Run". Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  12. ^ "Horse Profile for Old Man Winter". Equibase. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  13. ^ "Old Man Winter" (PDF). Mireau Music. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  14. ^ "Old Man Winter Porter". Ribstone Creek Brewery. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  15. ^ "Old Man Winter Ale". Southern Tier Brewing Company. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  16. ^ "Old Man Winter Old Ale". Cape Cod Beer. Retrieved 11 April 2022.