"It's Colder than a Witch's Heart Out There!"
True. I'm a (kitchen) witch, and my heart is very warm. But also false - this colloquialism is used to mean it's bitterly cold - and heart is usually teat/tit. My fellow AmeriCorps member here at our service site just uttered this phrase, and for some reason, I'm offended. It's the implication that witches are evil, heartless beings - the green halloween hag, the Wicked Witch of the West, the Evil Stepmother. The implication that witches harbor no warm feelings, do nothing good, and are the bane of good, God-Fearing(tm) folk everywhere, that's what hurts.
Witches, after all, dance with the Devil in the moonlight.
They eat babies.
Scare little children. (*GASP*)
Didn't you know? Weren't you aware?
Oh, you missed the memo?
Huh, so did I, apparently. Now, it's likely my fellow member didn't mean to utter a slur against witches of the Pagan and Wiccan variety - lovely people (in general, there are a few crackpots like with any group) who'd much rather blow raspberries on your baby's belly and pretend to nibble at his ears than actually EAT him. A good lot of them are vegetarians - they don't even eat cows, much less babies. I can tell you I'd much rather eat the cow and cuddle the baby.
She doesn't know any better, after all. Society presents green evil witches, and most people just don't know, or have been told by their pastor, or read something in a book somewhere - and they just beleive it. Sadly, it's not worth it for me to correct her, or mention that the phrase is offensive.
Here's the kicker, though. The original "Colder than a witch's tit" doesn't bother me one whit. Not at all. It makes me giggle, and think of other things, like "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey".
It's the "heart" part that's offensive.