100 words for snow

building a snowman

building a snowman

It occurs to me we need to expand our winter weather vocabulary. Meteorologists are beginning to repeat themselves. Snow and cold, Snow and cold.  They have this awkward  look of bearers of bad news.

We, too, are becoming dispirited, at a loss for words. Citizens of Chiberia!  It’s been  tough, this year. Maybe the worst winter here in 30 years–and for those who were around back then, we’re 30 years older, now.

I know it’s hard sometimes, so hard. I miss my husband, his warmth and humor and help with the snow shoveling. But this is not the time for weeping  for what was, and what is.  Those tears will only freeze on your face in the  wind.  What’s the wind chill now, anyway? Are we close to Absolute Zero?

We need more words for winter, and for snow. Subzero.  Wind chill factor. Blizzard conditions?  Swear words come to mind, but let’s be more inventive.   Do we have 100 words for snow?

Today, more snow has fallen, maybe 4-5 inches. Once again, a  world without sidewalks and roads.  I’m the only one out shoveling.

Into this scene comes a neighbor down the street, walking her black dog.  She’s wearing black snowpants, like me. Her winter hat  could be Radiant Orchid.

Her smile is radiant. Her dog, a husky mix, loves this weather. She stops, we talk about the snow and how much has fallen. She’s already shoveled her place, her neighbors. She’ll do her whole block.  Why not?  She shovels some sidewalk for me,  while I play with  her dog  in the snowdrifts.

Thank you shoveling angel! Thank you for showing me how to shovel snow with a joyful heart,  open to the beauty of this moment.

The snow is powder, light as air.  It’s a delight to shovel it.  This is the snow that skiers dream of. It’s too light for making snowmen, maybe, but why not?

There is more to snow than shoveling.  There is more to winter than the polar vortex.  There are  many words for snow.

For example, there’s a dusting of snow, good-packing  snow, snowman snow, and snowball-throwing snow

Snow blown from snow-blowers

Downhill racing snow.

Brushing snow off windshields before work on Monday snow. Heading home on Friday snow.

City snow, and country snow.

Snow falling off the roofs of buildings. Snow falling off branches.

Snow of cats looking out the window

Snow of big dogs, romping.

Hiroshige  snow, snows of Kilimanjaro,  snows of yesteryear

The snow of demons, howling.

The snow of drifting and blowing.  Snow of tires, grinding. The snow of hazardous white-out  conditions.

Heart-attack snow. Lake-effect snow.

Snow of  lovers meeting.

Snow of winter, alone.

The crunch of snow. The squeak of snow in subzero temperatures.

Sun on snow, shadows of branches

Snow at night, almost bright as day….

These are just a few examples.  Why stop at 100 words?  How many more can you come up with?

Have you ever wondered about the Inuit words for snow?  You can read more about it, here.


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Filed under: seasons, weather

Tags: snow, snow man snow, winter


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  • Here's one that people always understand when I use it in conversation -- snowing like a broken feather pillow.

  • Here's one that's always understood when I use it in conversations -- snowing like a broken feather pillow.

  • Whoops, sorry for glitch! How about computer-freezing snow?

  • Thank you MargaretSerious, for braving the cold today, and stopping by. Much appreciate your contributions to the winter lexicon. Broken feather pillow is a really good one---and the computer-freezing snow is just brilliant!

  • Ah,, there's no business like snow business.

  • Snow way! You are the best. Thanks, AW.

  • Snow birds? Clever post btw!

  • In reply to Kathy Mathews:

    Thanks, Kathy! That's a good one. Congratulations on Best Gallery Post--I love the 14 Coats! Well-done.

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