Friday, February 8, 2013

After the Aqilokoq

I'd heard that the Eskimo languages have more words for "snow" than the English language. A quick Google search found some articles indicating that this was merely a literary hoax; however, this recent Washington Post article suggests that there is truth to the legend. They report on a study of Inuit and Yupik dialects, which found
Central Siberian Yupik has 40 such terms [words for snow], while the Inuit dialect spoken in Canada’s Nunavik region has at least 53, including “matsaaruti,” for wet snow that can be used to ice a sleigh’s runners, and “pukak,” for the crystalline powder snow that looks like salt.
According to the Post article, "aqilokoq" is the word for "softly falling snow," which is what we enjoyed last night. This is the kind of snow that hugs the tree branches, and today we enjoyed a beautiful, sunny, snow-covered world.

In the park, midday

Our house, dwarfed by snow-laden trees

On our walk, wild-looking trees and sky - suggesting
that Michigan weather really does change every 5 minutes

Branches and blue sky


  1. Looks like maybe I need to come to K'zoo to do my cross country skiing next week; I'm not sure we'll have any snow left (of any name) in SE Mich.

  2. I can't promise we'll have snow here, either. Yesterday was pretty warm and a lot melted; today it's 34 and snowing - very pretty, but who knows what it will lead to...!