Random Facts: Snow

The study of snow and ice is known as “cryology”.

The Oxford English Dictionary includes 337 words with “snow” in their definition, so you could say English has 337 words for snow from “ablation” (the melting of snow on the surface of a glacier) to “yeti” (the abominable snowman).

The earliest known reference to the abominable snowman was in 1921; the word “yeti” was not seen in English until 1937.

Snow on top of a glacier that has not yet turned to ice is called “firn”. “Ninguid” means “covered in snow”.

“My belly’s as cold as if I had swallowed snowballs” (Falstaff, The Merry Wives Of Windsor). This is Shakespeare’s only reference to snowballs.

The word “snowball” dates from about 1400; “snowman” arrived in 1827, which means we threw snowballs for 400 years before making a snowman.