in Egyptian hieroglyphics, is a human form pinched to death with the cold. (See Undines.)
Salamander. A sort of lizard, fabled to live in fire, which, however, it quenched by the chill of its body. Pliny tells us he tried the experiment once, but the creature was soon burnt to a powder. (Natural History, x. 67; xxix. 4.) Salamanders are not uncommon, especially the spotted European kind (Greek, salamandria).
Salamander. Francois I. of France adopted as his badge “a lizard in the midst of flames,” with the legend “Nutrisco et extinguo” (“I nourish and extinguish”). The Italian motto from which this legend was borrowed was, “Nudrisco il buono e spengo il reo” (“I nourish the good and extinguish the bad”). Fire purifies good metal, but consumes rubbish. (See ante.)
Salamander. Anything of a fiery-red colour. Falstaff calls Bardolph's nose “a burning lamp,” “a salamander,” and the drink that made such “a fiery meteor” he calls “fire.”
“I have maintained that salamander of yours with fire any time this two-and-thirty years.” —Shakespeare: 1 Henry IV., iv. 3.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894