Saturday, 19 January 2013

50 Eskimo words for snow?

Myth v Truth - Are there more than 50 words for ‘snow’ in Eskimo language?

Apparently the row rumbles on. The Washington Post ran an article five days ago: There really are 50 Eskimo words for ‘snow.’

During 1880’s a man called: Franz Boas recorded this information “Handbook of American Indian Languages,” and since then a great number of people have tried to declare his theory a hoax.

It seems now, that maybe… there was an element of truth in Boa’s findings especially as; Ole Henrik Magga, a Norwegian linguist has identified 180 words in her own language to describe snow & ice.

This article got me thinking - we have one word for snow… Or do we?

This is a random list of words I've complied this morning whilst sitting with my cup of tea looking out over the garden, at the lovely white soft power snow that hasn't yet melted.

Snow - Snowstorm - Snowfall - Snow Flurry - Blizzard - Whiteout - Snowflake - Snow-white - Snowball - Snowballing - Snowbound - Snowsquall - Snowy - Snowed in - Snowed up - Snowed under - Snowed - Sleet - Slush - Hail - Hailstones - Ice - Snow plough - Snow shovel - Snow slip - Avalanche - Hoary - Frost - Snowman - Snowmen - Snowdrifts - Snowbird - Snowboard - Snowscape - Snowiness - Ice up - Ice over - Frosty - Glacial - Icy

I’m absolutely certain this isn't a full list of possible ‘snow’ words and that there are many more words that haven’t yet come to mind so -

Perhaps the reason that the myth v truth dispute rumbles on is because we have lost ‘old languages’ as tribes move forward and adopt modern versions.

I’d love to hear your views and opinions on this matter as the old romantic in me would like the original article to be true…

For this mad notion I make no apology.

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