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There really are 50 Eskimo words for ‘snow’
Washington Post/New Scientist ^ | 1-14-13 | David Robson

Posted on 03/30/2014 11:50:07 PM PDT by kingattax

Anthropologist Franz Boas didn’t mean to spark a century-long argument. Traveling through the icy wastes of Baffin Island in northern Canada during the 1880s, Boas simply wanted to study the life of the local Inuit people, joining their sleigh rides, trading caribou skins and learning their folklore.

As he wrote proudly to his fiancee, “I am now truly like an Eskimo. . . . I scarcely eat any European foodstuffs any longer but am living entirely on seal meat.”

He was particularly intrigued by their language, noting the elaborate terms used to describe the frozen landscape: “aqilokoq” for “softly falling snow” and “piegnartoq” for “the snow [that is] good for driving sled,” to name just two.

Mentioning his observations in the introduction to his 1911 book “Handbook of American Indian Languages,” he ignited the claim that Eskimos have dozens, or even hundreds, of words for snow.

Although the idea continues to capture public imagination, most linguists considered it an urban legend, born of sloppy scholarship and journalistic exaggeration.

Some have even gone as far as to name it the Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax.

The latest evidence, however, suggests that Boas was right all along.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 03/30/2014 11:50:07 PM PDT by kingattax
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To: left that other site

GNIP


2 posted on 03/30/2014 11:50:57 PM PDT by kingattax (America needs more real Americans.)
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To: kingattax

What is the Eskimo word for “yellow snow?”


3 posted on 03/30/2014 11:56:55 PM PDT by Cowboy Bob (They are called "Liberals" because the word "parasite" was already taken.)
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To: kingattax

Don’t forget ‘Algoracrock’ for ‘rotten snow caused by the evil white man’.


4 posted on 03/30/2014 11:59:04 PM PDT by ArtDodger
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To: kingattax

I can see why.

In New Hampshire, I noticed at least these:

heart attack snow (plowing/shoveling heavy driveway snow)
light and fluffy snow
snow of good enough consistency that you could make snowballs and snowforts
heavy and wet snow
snow formed from moisture in the air freezing in extreme cold
blowing sideways snow
snow that turned to ice because you didn’t plow it in time
snow that kept coming in April and May


5 posted on 03/30/2014 11:59:30 PM PDT by AlmaKing
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To: AlmaKing

snow that came in October before the leaves fell and caused downed powerlines and use of generator for 2 weeks


6 posted on 03/31/2014 12:00:39 AM PDT by AlmaKing
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To: kingattax

You mean this debate raged on for decades before they thought of... asking Eskimos??


7 posted on 03/31/2014 12:10:55 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: kingattax
FIXED IT: As he wrote proudly to his FORMER fiancee, “I am now truly like an Eskimo. . . . I scarcely eat any European foodstuffs any longer but am living entirely on seal meat.”
8 posted on 03/31/2014 12:43:02 AM PDT by Pikachu_Dad (Impeach Sen Quinn)
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To: kingattax
To anyone interested in Eskimo anthropology, I highly recommend anything written by Peter Freuchen, a Dane who emigrated to Greenland around the turn of the last century, married an Eskimo girl, and explored much of that island by dogsled.

He also wrote a fascinating book about the seven seas concerning ocean currents and so forth.

Altogether, a very interesting man.


9 posted on 03/31/2014 1:05:51 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: kingattax

Big deal. In new york we also have multiple words for snow:

F*$#!& snow!
$!#%&%! snow!
D#/*#$% snow!


10 posted on 03/31/2014 1:21:03 AM PDT by lowbridge
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To: kingattax

I know one Eskimo word - “Demecret - One who steals the reward of hard work from a person and gives it to another in exchange for a vote”


11 posted on 03/31/2014 1:24:22 AM PDT by GrandJediMasterYoda (Republican has "I can" at the end. Democrat has "rat". Any questions?)
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To: GrandJediMasterYoda

here’s another one for you :

“algore” - what you find on the ice after a polar bear squats.


12 posted on 03/31/2014 1:35:45 AM PDT by kingattax (America needs more real Americans.)
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To: kingattax
This year I've had a ton of words for snow as well..

Damn Snow

%#(!* Snow

Shxt it's snowing again?

I hate this shxt

Nasty azz snow

13 posted on 03/31/2014 2:16:11 AM PDT by maddog55 (I'd be Pro-Choice if we could abort liberals.)
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To: maddog55

LOL beat me to it.


14 posted on 03/31/2014 4:10:45 AM PDT by riverrunner
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To: lowbridge

LOL!


15 posted on 03/31/2014 4:58:03 AM PDT by Flick Lives ("I can't believe it's not Fascism!")
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To: kingattax

Remember Nanook Carlson’s famous bit:

“The 50 words for snow you can’t say on television”


16 posted on 03/31/2014 5:02:26 AM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: kingattax

When I lived in Puerto Rico I actually had a kid, Fred Duncan, who was an Eskimo from Alaska. I don’t know about “snow” but I wonder if he had 50 different words for “bacalao frito?”


17 posted on 03/31/2014 5:06:30 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (ObamaCare unsubsidized PAID Enrollment Prediction: 66,666)
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To: kingattax

When I took my arctic engineering course to get my Alaska Professional Engineer license, we discussed 27 different types of ice.


18 posted on 03/31/2014 5:10:40 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: PJ-Comix

Oops! I didn’t have an eskimo kid myself. Meant to say I had an Eskimo kid in my school class.


19 posted on 03/31/2014 5:24:53 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (ObamaCare unsubsidized PAID Enrollment Prediction: 66,666)
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To: kingattax

Universal word for snow burrrrr.


20 posted on 03/31/2014 6:46:11 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: kingattax
I thought "Eskimo" was one of those words the PC types want to ban as supposedly derogatory.

I had an Eskimo pie more than once growing up, but I don't think they were authentic. They weren't baked by real Eskimos.

21 posted on 03/31/2014 9:20:01 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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