colder than a welldigger's belt buckle


Senior Member
What does welldigger mean? And how can he be colder than someone's belt buckle?

‘Yeah, and now I’m out here in the late Mrs Babineau’s potting shed, or whatever the fuck it is, freezing my ass off. The richest part of the city, Kerm, and I’m in a shack colder than a welldigger’s belt buckle. I bet Izzy knows I’m calling you, too. Tattling to my dear old Uncle Kermit.’
Source: End of Watch by Stephen King

Thank you
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'd guess a welldigger is someone who digs wells.

    I don't think it's meant to be taken literally. You can say 'colder than . . .' more or less anything.

    We do it a lot - 'hotter than . . .', bigger than . . .', 'meaner than . . . ' and so on.

    Edit to acknowledge dermott's post below. I hadn't heard those expressions before.


    Senior Member
    B.E. via Australian English
    It's a variation on the expression "as cold as a welldigger's arse/nose/ears". A welldigger is someone who digs wells. It is assumed that it's a cold job, probably because water is involved.


    Senior Member
    USA - English
    The usual expression in American English is "colder than a well digger's ass." As "ass" (the AE mangling of "arse") is considered vulgar, the speaker has replaced it with the innocuous "belt buckle", knowing that the hearer would be aware of the expression that was meant.
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