Shivery Types


Are you a shivery type? Or maybe a heat freak? Or in other words, do you prefer warmer temperatures, and turn up the heating when it gets cold?

If so, then you could call yourself a koukleum [ˈkɑu̯kløːm], a Dutch word meaning a “person who is often/easily cold, person bothered by the cold a lot” [source], or a ‘shivery type’ [source]. It comes from kou (a low temperature situation) and kleumen (to be stiff with cold) [source].

Related words include:

  • koukleumen = to suffer in low temperatures
  • kleumen = to be stiff with cold
  • kleumer = a person who is prone to cold; a cold or untrustworthy person
  • kleumerig = stiffened from the cold

The German word Frostbeule has a similar meaning to koukleum, and also means frostbite or chilblain [source].

A koukleum might suffer from cryophobia (an abnormal fear of ice or frost; a morbid fear of freezing) [source], and might be a cryophobic, which is the nearest English word I can find.

The opposite of cryophobic is cryophilic, which usually refers to plants or animals and means “having an affinity for or thriving at low temperatures; able to thrive at low temperatures” [source].

According to this article, about 20% of people have a genetic mutation which makes them better able to resist cold temperatures and to live in cold climates.

I’m not a koukleum, and in fact prefer cooler temperatures. I haven’t found a word for this preference in Dutch, English or other languages. How about you?

2 thoughts on “Shivery Types

  1. Well Simon, here’s a language challenge for you: What’s a person called who is overly sensitive to changes in temperature, but not necessarily hot or cold? Over the years, I have ended up spending most of my time indoors, and my preferred temperature is 72°F or 22.2°C. I am so familiar with this, that I can the difference when it’s half a degree lower, or 71.5°F (21.9°C).

    While being that sensitive is interesting, I don’t especially enjoy it. I am always fiddling with the thermostat trying to not be too hot or too cold. Sort of like looking for the “Goldilocks” of temperatures.

    I don’t think there’s a word for this.

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