Tuesday, 6 January 2009

¡Qué nieve!

Blogging from my desk, I can watch the cars sliding down the icerink that has replaced the road on which I live. That's the problem with living on a steep hill - good for keeping fit but a pain when it snows as it fast turns to ice and makes it very hard to go down the road under complete control, and you might as well forget going up the road! And this situation can continue for long after all the surrounding roads have been cleared.

Anyhow - looking out of the window reminded me of a post on About.com entitled Spanish words for 'SNOW'.

An urban legend has it that the Eskimo language has 25 (or four, or 50 or 100, depending on the version) words for snow. While the statement is seriously flawed (there's no one Eskimo language, nobody knows what the true number is, and nearly all languages have multiple words for snow), it does have some truth to it: Living languages, by their very nature, come up with the words or means to describe nearly everything that people talk about and to differentiate among them.

It goes on to list the numerous words in Spanish to describe and name snow and related vocabulary. So, if you want to get beyond talking about 'la nieve' and become more descriptive, check out the list!

Here are a few words I liked!
la ráfaga - a snow flurry
escarchado - covered in frost
la nieve fusión - snow that becomes almost liquid when skied or slid upon.
ventiscar / ventisquear - to blow snow with a strong wind
la conchesta - a large snowdrift


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