hawk n

1  also with the: Icy weather or an icy wind personified. [Shortening of Hawkins n, perh inspired by (the) Hawk, nickname of jazz saxophonist Coleman Hawkins (1904–1969)] orig chiefly among Black speakers, but now more widely known

1946 (1972) Mezzrow–Wolfe Really Blues 333, Hawk: winter. Hawk’s out with his axe: it’s freezing weather. 1964 Gold Jazz Lexicon 141, According to jazzmen, hawkins has been current esp. among Negro jazzmen since c. 1900, hawk since c. 1935. 1966 Lou Rawls “Live” (Phonodisc) Chicago IL, The hawk, I’m speakin’ of the almighty hawk, Mr. Wind, when he blows down the street around 35, 40 miles an hour it’s just like a giant razorblade blowin’ down the street. 1968 Newsweek 18 Mar 28/3, The nights are cold—when it is really chill, the men [=marines in Viet Nam] say “the hawk is out.” 1970 DARE (Qu. B18, . . Kinds of wind) Infs IL137, Hawk; IL139, The hawk. [Both Infs Black, both from Chicago IL] 1970 Young Snakes 88 Detroit MI [Black], The hawk was talking! The worst cold of the season had blown in so fiercely that no one in his right mind would have even left the house. 1972 All Hands Feb 33, The “hawk”—a fierce wind—picked up velocity during the night. It shook the tents and whistled about the guy ropes. It also shook our hopes for tomorrow’s sun. [DARE Ed: This is an account of experiences of naval personnel in Antarctica.] 1972 DARE File Chicago IL [Black], The hawk—cold weather, esp with strong cold winds. The hawk is coming. 1989 Capital Times (Madison WI) 13 Dec 15/1 Chicago IL, Wait until the Hawk arrives, I warned, the howling arctic wind that rips through town in January and February. 1997 Boating Nov 63, When the “hawk is out,” as they say in the charterboat trade, with the wind doing the banshee howl and the face of the deep looking mean enough to curdle tugboat coffee, the testing of even large, beamy vessels can sink to a sort of foot-soldier level. 2001 Jet 5 Mar 24, Spring may be on the horizon, but the winter hawk still has a firm grip on most of the nation. . . Make sure you don’t fall prey to the hawk by following these cold-weather safety tips. 2005 DARE File ceMO (as of 1940s), Colored folk all over the country use “The Hawk” when referring to an uncomfortably cold wind. When I was in grade school (1942-1950) in St. Louis, we used the expression, “The Hawk talks!” to describe what it’s like on a cold, windy, winter’s day. When the occasion demanded it, we said, “The Hawk is talkin’.” By the time that I was in high school, some people said “Hawkins is talkin’.”

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