You may have heard that the Inuit (Eskimos) have over a hundred words for snow. That’s actually one of those bullshit myths everyone perpetuates because it seems true and makes a point we don’t know how to express otherwise. It’s sort of like saying “The best defense is a good offense” when you want to be a dick about something, but with full knowledge that the best defense is actually filling your house with really big spiders. No one is fucking with that shit.
Yet though nowhere near a hundred, northern natives do have numerous distinct terms for the fluffy stuff. They call snow on the ground “aput” for instance which is different from “piqsirpoq” or drifting snow which can compile into a “qimuqsuq” or snowdrift. It’s not unlike the rich variety of scratch tickets available in our beloved Gloucester, with each having a slight yet important distinction in that some some feature professional wrestlers and others glittery shamrocks.
As a public service The Clam offers up some new winter-related terms that we might better deal with the onslaught of rough weather to come. Please feel free to add your own in the comments.
Crystal Canyon What many driveways and secondary roads have become. “Be careful turning up here, Hon. It’s a total crystal canyon and nobody’s gonna be able to see you coming.”
Carsophogas The chrysalis-like covering of a vehicle not been shoveled out for several storms. “I’d lend you my copy of ‘Out on a Limb, the Shirley MacLaine Story’ but it’s buried out in my carsophogas.”
Fullery The kind of snow that becomes ugly and useless but won’t go away even long after it should be gone. “There’s still a giant fullery over by Market Basket no one seems to know how to get rid of.” [this is a Gloucester-specific joke, outsiders]
Pigloo What your place becomes after you’ve been trapped inside for a long period with no trash collection. “I’d have you guys over for hot chocolate, but the house is a pigloo right now.”
Three Doug Night This rarely used winter-specific term is unique to the polysexual community and is best left unexplained.
Edward Snowed-in When you’ve been cooped-up inside on the Internet and you start snooping on ex lovers, revealing their current lives to mutual friends. “Yeah, I was poking around while Edward Snowed-In and found out Megan ended up marrying that creepy adjunct professor we had for organic chemistry.”
Wipealanche When you are just trying to turn the freaking car on so it warms up, but you don’t want to get inside yet because it’s not cleared off, so you leave the door half open while sitting on the seat with one butt-cheek and turn the key. Of course the last person in the car (not you, heavens no) left the wipers on and they automatically engage with the ignition, pushing the whole windshield of snow down all over you and then into the panel that controls the electric windows and doors. “AHHHH FUCK! WIPEALANCHE!!!!”
Fro-post Compost that has become frozen and is building-up out back. “Dude, are these buckets full of fro-post? That shit’s going to be nasty come Spring!”
Eskimotivator That one person who forces you to go out and enjoy the wintry landscape no matter what. “I wanted to just finish binge watching Firefly, but Muffy eskimotivated me to go snowshoeing with her.”
Olafs To chuckle when another is inadvertently covered in snow. “We were eating at Papa Gino’s when Brandon went outside to vape. The snow on the roof let go and he was completely covered with that glowing blue thing sticking out of his mouth. He looked like a snowman from the future. Man did we have some olafs at that.”
E.L.S.A. An acronym used to explain diminished standardized test scores notable from extended school closures. E.L.S.A. stands for the “Extreme Length School Abandonment”of districts forced to “Let it Go” during the 2015 winter session. “Oh, that dip Commissioner? That’s where our district had the ELSA and 2/3 of our kids essentially went feral by the time we got them back”
Krist-offed Heading off to work having cleared your property only to find upon return the town has plowed you back in with a crusty massive bank of compacted snow and ice making it impossible to get in. “I was so kristoffed when I got home I had to climb in through the downstairs bathroom window.”