BURLINGTON – A new paper published this week by the University of Vermont alleges that natives to the state of Vermont have more than fifty words for “snow.” Professor Laura S. Kimo of the Department of Anthropology authored the study after nearly two decades of living among actual Vermonters and studying their language.
“It’s quite fascinating,” Kimo says, “because of course you don’t really believe it at first. Don’t they just speak English up there? And they do, but with subtle variations. Of course they have the multiple words for snow like the rest of us, blizzard for a large snowfall, avalanche for a large amount of snow moving down a mountain, but it goes so much deeper!”
Kimo’s study is available online, but printed below is a small sampling of the unique words for snow described by the report.
Berm – Snowbank used for stability
Corn – Crumb-like snow caused by repeated melting and refreezing
Crust – Hardened layer of snow, often under or over softer snow
Dump – A large snowfall of powder
Flurry – A small amount of snowfall that would shut down other states
Freshies – Snow’s first tracks
Granular – Snow that has been packed down
Hardpack – Snow that has been packed down even more
Mashed Potatoes – Wet, heavy snow
Moguls – Snow in the form of bumps
Packed Powder – New snow that has been traveled over repeatedly
Powder – Fresh, dry, light snow
Slush – Wet snow mixed with water