A Reflection on the Snowstorm headed our way






I've just read ChicagoNow's Bon Bini Ya'll' s latest post, "The Antediluvian Days of Long Distance Telephone Calls".  As always, a very fascinating and enjoyable piece on Candace Drimmer's adventures in Peru. If you haven't read her yet, you're  missing her wonderful insights on life in a foreign country and on life in general.

In the title of her post today, she used a word that perhaps many people are not familiar with, but a word that has an intriguing origin: antediluvian.  According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, antediluvian is from the Latin 'ante'(before)  and 'diluvium' (flood).  Before the flood, that is, the flood described in the Book of Genesis, Chapters 6-9.  By 1646, antediluvian came to refer to  anything "made, evolved, or developed a long time ago".  Thus those days of long distance telephone calls.

In January, here in the Chicago area, we don't usually fret about liquid precipitation. A deluge.  Which is itself a cognate of antediluvian. Do you see the resemblance?  No, what sends chills down my psyche is a big accumulation of snowflakes.  Piles and piles of them.

So let me raise the ante.  Which 'ante' word would anticipate the time before a snowfall of epic proportions?

By the way, did you know that the Inuits have 50 words for snow?


Filed under: snowfalls


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  • In the case of Chicago, it is a question of ante the 1967 or 1979 blizzard. Channel 7 had a 50th anniversary retrospective of the 1979 one, but the pictures of stuck buses were of those retired in 1972. Google indicates that the proper term may be antenix. Maybe Stevie Nicks's auntie.

    I also understand that the Iñupiat have various words for puddle jumper aircraft, but that's no longer on Channel 60.3.

  • Well, the French word for snow is neige, so how about anteneigian?

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Then I've got the anteneigian jitters. Seriously.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Sorry, but I hate to have them alone! Thanks. Seriously.

  • Excellent post, AW. At least the National Weather Service is saying that it won't be heavy wet snow, here...

  • Thanks for nod, appreciated. And looking at about a foot of snow in Western MA...is just like my previous Chicago view.

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