50 Different Words for Snow

16 07 2014


Like the Eskimo and “snow”

30 05 2014


We have 50 words for “slow”

20 02 2014


The same word…

21 09 2013


Many words for snow

20 09 2013


Sudden Onset Cannabalism

17 09 2013

cannabalism2cannabalism cannabalism1

new words for snow?

31 08 2013

Last Words:
I can haz some new words for snow?
By DS Bigham
 Popular Linguistics Magazine

…given that English seems to love a good borrowed word (vuvuzela, anyone?) why don’t we have *more* words for snow than we do? It’s not that I’m sick of the unending portmanteaus beginning with snow-, it’s just that I think we can do better.



Instead of snowmageddon, where we combine the perfectly dull Old English word ‘snow’ with the ultimately Hebrew-derived word ‘Armageddon’, let’s borrow some Turkish and talk about the kar-mageddon instead. It has a better feel to it and opens up a world of possible puns on karma, as well (“Oh hey, Bob, weather man said it’s gonna be a karmageddon tonight, better make sure your shovel is handy.” “Oh yeah, Ned, well, you know what they say, karmageddon’s a bitch!” … well, we’ll get one pun out of it, anyway). Or even better, just head outside, stand knee-deep in the stuff, raise your voice angrily at the sky and exclaim, in your strongest Klingon accent, chuchHommey! You’re sure to win the ‘Best Yard Decor’ vote from the Star Trek fans next door, at least.


Other, more mundane, cold weather events may include a lovely evening of hot cocoa and elurra (Basque), a miserable morning driving through a yuki (Japanese) drizzle, a soporific night nodding off to Old Man Winter snjór-ing (Icelandic) out our window panes, or, if it’s a snow like we had in Central Texas, barely a dusting of the stuff, let’s borrow from Albanian and call it like it is — a total borë.

So how about that? In a language where we’ve welcomed crazy words likeautochthonous and lingerie, surely a couple new words for snø (Norwegian) would be welcomed by winter’s journalistic zeitgeist. Let’s get to it. And maybe next time you hear someone talk about “117 words for snow” … maybe they’ll just be talking about English.

Cats are like the Eskimos of Laziness

21 05 2013


Iktsuarpok fever!

13 12 2012

#5. Iktsuarpok (Inuit)


To go outside to check if an expected visitor has arrived, over and over again.

For lonely people eager to find new ways to express their loneliness, there is a new word that perfectly sums up the feeling of waiting for someone who, as time goes on, you realize probably isn’t coming. We’ve all been guilty of “iktsuarpok” at one point or another, whether it’s waiting for a prom date or waiting for a concealed-weapons permit in the mail after that prom fiasco. Time can seem to stretch on for eternity in moments that require you to wait on someone else, glancing out the window again and again, waiting for their car to pull into the driveway. The Inuit know the feeling so well they developed a word for it.

They have 40 words for “sudden onset cannibalism,” too, if you’re thinking of visiting.

The fact that iktsuarpok even exists as a word offers us all a sense of exactly what kind of isolation the Inuit people are subjected to every day. They will get all iktsuarpok-ed for the prospect of a guest like a kid for Santa Claus. So the next time you’re feeling sick to death of all the people around you, remember that somewhere there’s a group of people disconnected from civilization in subzero temperatures, just waiting for some hypothermic company to stumble past.

“Just chopping up some nice ice logs for the ice fire.”

Psst.. did you catch the “100 words for snow” reference?  Sneaky!!

100 Lies

29 09 2012


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