100 Words for Snow

As your shoveling snow off your driveway, or tearing down your favorite ski run, it becomes clear that the simple word “snow” doesn’t do justice in completely describing those winter white flakes your pushing around. So, to dive a little further into the snow banks, here for you today are 100 different words and phrases to better describe snow:

Simple Definition
Snow: Soft,white pieces of frozen water that fall to the ground from the ski in cold weather (Merriam Webster)

Ski and Snowboarding Terms
if you ever find yourself at the base of a mountain, waiting in line for a chairlift, try throwing around one of these terms to blend in to the winter scenery:

  • Powder (pow-pow): freshly fallen snow that is extremely soft (most beloved type of snow)
  • Corn: Wet and granular snow, results from nightly freezing and daily thawing
  • Slush: Snow that is starting to melt, and is very heavy and wet
  • Snow Grains: Very small, white, grains of ice
  • Crust: Snow that has a layer of harden, frozen crust (thus the name)
  • Packed Powder: Powder snow that is compressed and flattened by skier traffic of grooming equipment
  • Crud: Powder that has been skied on or trampled over and is uneven, packed in some areas, untouched in others.
  • Corduroy: The finely ridged surface of snow after a snowcat has groomed its surface
  • Slush: Snow that is starting to melt
  • Snow Pellets: A form of precipitation that form when drops of water freeze and combine with ordinary snowflakes
  • Ball Bearings: Little firm balls of snow that form around or under your skis and snowboard
  • Brown Snow:  Mud showing through the snow
  • Chop: Freshly fallen snow that has been skied on enough to be chopped up with a few bumps
  • Cornice: A formation of windblown snow that often makes an over hang
  • Dust on Crust: A light covering of loose snow on top of a hard, icy under layer
  • Grapple: Small hail that is rounder or thicker than typical hail
  • Smud: Brown or muddy snow usually the result of warmer weather
  • Wet Powder: When rain covers powder, making for fast, and somewhat dangerous conditions
  • Artificial Snow: Snow manufactured by snow guns that create tiny snow granules
  • Blue: Clear ice, typically with the ground visible beneath it
  • California Concrete: Heavy wet snow that is created from a Pacific storm
  • Chokable: Powder that is so deep you could drown, or “choke” in it
  • Colorado Super Chunk: Heavy wet snow found in Colorado, typically a couple days after a spring storm
  • Cold Smoke: The airy trail of powder that follows skis and snowboards in fresh powder
  • Penitents: Tall blades of snow found at higher altitudes
  • Sierra Cement: Cold, very heavy, and wet snow often found in the Sierra Mountains
  • Bullet Proof: White, but so densely packed it is hard to put a ski through it
  • Chowder: Heavy, wet, lumpy snow
  • Cauliflower: The newly made snow found near the base of a snow gun
  • Champagne Powder: Snow with extremely low moisture amounts, often found in the west
  • Flake: Simple slang for snow itself
  • Freshie: Untouched snow often only found first thing in the morning
  • Poo Ice: Dirty snow which is packed down and overused

Snow in Different Languages
For the international traveler, here is the word “snow” in all types of different languages:

  • Borë – Albanian
  • Snijeg – Bosnian
  • Neu – Catalan
  • 雪 – Chinese (traditional)
  • Sníh – Czech
  •  Sne – Danish
  • Sneeuw – Dutch
  • Lumi – Estonian
  • Neige – French
  • Schnee – German
  • Nèj – Haitian
  • Hó – Hungarian
  • Snjór – Icelandic
  • Salju – Indonesian
  • Sneachta – Irish
  • Neve – Italian
  • 雪 – Japanese
  • 눈 – Korean
  • Nix – Latin
  • Sniegs – Latvian
  • Snø – Norwegian
  • śnieg – Polish
  • Neve – Portuguese
  • Zăpadă – Romanian
  • Cнег – Russian
  • Sneh – Slovak
  • Nieve – Spanish
  • Theluji – Swahili
  • Snö – Swedish
  • Kar – Turkish
  • Cніг – Ukrainian
  • Tuyết- Vietnamese
  • Eira – Welsh

Inuit Terms for Snow
An interesting use of language comes from the Inuit nation. Their familiar culture of snow has produced a language to aptly describe nearly all types of snow. Check it out for yourself:

*Note, many linguistics and scholars are correct in saying that the Inuit Terms for Snow are not accurately so lengthy. But, for the snow fun of it all, words can be stretched and lengthy, if not verified, lists can be extrapolated:

  • Tlapa: Powder snow
  • Tlacringit: Snow that is crusted on the surface
  • Kayi: Drifting Snow
  • Tlapat: Still snow
  • Klin: Remembered snow
  • Naklin: Forgotten snow
  • Tlamo: Snow that falls in large wet flakes
  • Tlatim: Snow that falls in small flakes
  • Tlaslo: Snow that falls slowly
  • Tlapinti: Snow that falls quickly
  • Kripya: Snow that has melted and refrozen
  • Tliyel: Snow that has been marked by wolves
  • Tliyelin: snow that that been marked by eskimos
  • Blotla: Blowing Snow
  • Pactla: Snow that has been packed down
  • Hiryla: Snow in beards
  • Tlayinq: Snow mixed with mud
  • Quinaya: Snow mixed with Husky feces
  • Slimtla: Snow that is crusted on top but soft underneath
  • Kriplyana: Snow that looks blue in the early morning
  • Allatla: Baked Snow
  • Fritla: Fried Snow
  • Jatla: Snow between your fingers or toes, or in groin-folds
  • Dinliltla: Little balls of snow that cling to husky fur
  • Sulitlana: Green snow
  • Mentlana: Pink snow
  • Tidtla: Snow used for cleaning
  • Kriyantli: Snow bricks
  • Intla: Snow that has drifted indoors
  • Shlim: Slush
  • Penstla: The idea of snow
  • Ylaipi: Tomorrow’s snow
  • Nylaipin: The snow of yesteryear

So there you have it, 100 different ways to say snow. Now, the next time someone asks you what the weather is supposed to be like over the weekend, or what your spring break plans are, don’t go for the simple snow answer, and instead flex your vocabulary and impress your friends. For even more words for snow, check out the resources below:

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Ask.Com – Snow Terms

Google Translate

Mendosa.Com – Inuit Words for Snow