Scots has 421 words for snow

Setting the record straight:

Ahead of the online launch of the first part of the thesaurus on 23 September, the University of Glasgow said the 421 snow descriptions meant that “Scots beat Inuit in the number of words for snow”. The theory that the Inuits have 50 different words for snow originated in 1911, when anthropologist Frank Boas published his Handbook of North American Indians; 80 years later, it was deconstructed by Geoffrey Pullum’s The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax.

Here are some of the words:

Snaw and sneesl mean to begin to rain or snow

Skelf refers to large snowflake

Feefle means to swirl, as of snow round a corner

Flindrikin refers to a slight snow shower

Spitters refer small drops or flakes of wind-driven rain or snow

Snaw-pouther means a ine driving snow


Source: Whiteout: new Scottish thesaurus has 421 words for snow | Books | The Guardian

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