Words

Wintry Words

Q.
Here in B.C., we are breaking ❄️ temperature records all over the place, and looking at unusually high mounds of snow. What are some forgotten or little used words related to winter, snow, and cold?

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A.

Algid
Feeling cold or chilly

Apricity
That wonderful moment when the sun breaks through and warms up a cold winter’s day

Conglaciate
To turn to ice

Corrugate
To wrinkle up, such as skin when it is affected by serious cold

Croodle
To snuggle together to keep warm

Cryophilic
Something – or someone – that flourishes when temperatures are low

Didder
To shiver or tremble

Flakelet
A tiny snowflake

Frazil
Slushy ice in rough waters

Frigorifick
That which causes cold

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Frore
Frosty or frozen

Gelid
Utterly and icily cold

Graupel
Grainy pellets of snow

Grue
Floating sheets of ice

Hiemal
Things relating to winter

Horripilation
Your hairs are standing straight up in your skin, here from the cold

Hygge
If you’ve watched ‘Frozen: The Broadway Musical’, you know the sauna-loving Oaken and his euphonious definitions of Hygge. Danes and Norwegians know of what he speaks …

‘Hygge means comfortable
Hygge means cozy
Hygge means sitting by the fire with your cheeks all rosy…’

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Lubric / Lubrick / Lubricous
Slippery

Nither
Shivering from the cold

Onding
A downpouring of snow or rain

Shrammed
To the bone cold – everything hurts, that is if you can feel it.

Sitzmark
Did you falter on your skis and fall backwards? That mark you left in the snow is called a ‘sitzmark’.

Skift
Lightly falling snow or rain

Slidder
To slide without stopping

Slippy
Slippery. We may still use this word regularly, but 18th Century author Samuel Johnson would not approve. ‘Slippy’, he wrote in his 1755 dictionary, is ‘a barbarous provincial word’.

Sposh
Slushy snow

Subnivean
Buried or happening under the snow

Tepefaction
To warm slightly

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Photos: Elizabeth Newton

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