New Hampshire: Twenty-Five Words for Snow

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.
“Dust of Snow,” by Robert Frost.

This winter has delivered record snowfall in many locations of the United States, including New Hampshire.  For opportunists, it provides a free resource. So now I pose to you an interesting question.  How many words do New Hampshirites have for “snow”?

I’ve created an initial list of twenty-five known words, and you of course may add your own.  My father’s favorite was #20.

New Hampshire’s Twenty-Five Words for Snow

1. snow (light, heavy, and moderate)
2. white stuff
3. cotton balls
4. flakes
5. first snow
6. sky berry
7. sky apple
8. snow storm
9. blizzard balls
10. snow flurry
11. plowman’s pearls
12. frozen vapor
13. sleet
14. powder
15. snow (or ice) crystals
16. snowflake
17. slush
18. frozen precipitate
19. white downfall
20. damn snow
21. downy flake [Robert Frost, “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”]
22. benighted snow [Robert Frost, “Desert Places”]
23. dust of snow [Robert Frost, “Dust of Snow”]
24. snow upon the roof [Robert Frost, “An Old Man’s Winter Night”]
25. crusted snow [Robert Frost, “Reluctance”]


“Contrary to popular belief, the Eskimos do not have more words for snow than do speakers of English,” according to linguist Steven Pinker in his book The Language Instinct. “Counting generously, experts can come up with about a dozen.”

On the other hand there are dozens of Spanish words for snow.


-New Hampsha’s Weather Glossary-

-New Hampshire Winter Rules-

-New Hampshire: Where Even Boiled Water is Entertaining-

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