Sunday, February 22, 2009

Inuit Snow

Tonight we have tlamo tlapinti , or, snow that falls in wet fat flakes snow that falls quickly.

Since living in Maine, which tends to have snow on the ground for at least a quarter of the year, I have learned to agree with the Eskimos. There are many types of snow. Luckily for the Eskimos, their language is designed so that a minor change in a word creates a whole new meaning. Thus, 100 words for snow.

Some of the definitions lead one to wonder if the website is a joke, although a .edu URL Such as: a name for the snow used to make Eskimo Margaritas, or snow burgers, or the name for snow sold to German tourists (also American and Japanese-apparently other nationalities don't buy snow in quantity). Other ones seem quite clever, as in the name for snow marked by Huskies vs. that of snow marked by Eskimos.

Some of the snow types that I have yet to experience include the snow used to make a fermented drink; a mouthful of snow because you fibbed; and small packages of snow given as gag gifts, hahatla. That name is a good example of why I think these names might be fabricated. It would be most definitely hahatla if the snow was also qiunaya, or snow mixed with husky feces.

Well, good amusement during cellillir. Or at least until the power goes out from all the snow on the lines. The prediction is upped to 10-14 inches of heavy wet snow. ( tlamo tlapinti )

1 comment:

Wood Mouse said...

Hi Tree, First I am pleased to hear you hobbit foot is healing. While I understand that Inuit’s and other first nation people do have various words for the different types of snow, I understand that its a myth that there are one hundred. When the book Miss Smellas Feeling for Snow was published, there were various programmes on the radio that discussed this myth. If memory serves me correctly there twenty plus. Therefore, I suspect that many of the words are intelligent jokes. One last thing, here in Britain we have had all the snow we bought this year, so cancel the despatch of all further orders please.