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:
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Extremely cold; frigid. See Synonyms at 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 Ursa Major) + -ikos -ic]
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