a real howler in July, yes? [from Frozen the movie]

JungKim

Senior Member
Korean
In Frozen (Disney Animation), what does Oaken mean by "howler"?
Oaken: Woh, a real howler in July, yes?
[Kristoff goes and picks up the rope and axe from the sparse winter department]
Oaken: Where ever could it be coming from?
Kristoff: The North Mountain.

-quotes from here
The dictionary meaning of howler (a mistake) doesn't seem to fit here.
Please help especially if you've seen the movie.:)
 
  • JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you both.

    Do you normally use this term "howler" to mean a storm, a strong wind, or even a snowstorm?

    Also, what about the noun usage of "howl"? Would you use "howl" instead of "howler" to mean a storm or a strong wind?
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    A storm is not a howl; "howl" is the sound, and the thing that howls is a howler.

    I do use it myself; much more, in fact, than "howler" for "hilarious mistake," which I don't think I've ever used, although I've seen it used.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Conversely, I don't think I've ever called a serious storm a howler (I do call them howling gales, though), whereas I frequently call hilarious mistakes howlers:)

    (I'm not saying this purely out of contrariness, Pob:D)
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    I found a few mentions in slang dictionaries of "howler" to mean specifically a bitterly cold day, possibly the result of a similar derivation as that which prompted Ewie's guess.
     
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