Fifty Words for Snow
By: Nancy Campbell
‘A delightful compendium that brings together language, culture and adventure through frozen landscapes as it shares the meanings behind 50 words for snow, gathered from around the globe.’ – The Herald, Christmas Books 2020
Snow. Every language has its own words for the feather-like flakes that come from the sky. In Japanese we find Yuki-onna – a ‘snow woman’ who drifts through the frosted land. In Icelandic falls Hundslappadrifa – ‘big as a dog’s paw’. And in Maori we meet Huka-rere – ‘one of the children of rain and wind’.
From mountain tops and frozen seas to city parks and desert hills, writer and Arctic traveller Nancy Campbell digs deep into the meanings of fifty words for snow. Under her gaze, each of these linguistic snow crystals offers a whole world of myth and story.
‘Absolutely exquisite. This little book is a work of art. It is impossible to imagine the reader who will not love it.’ – Horatio Clare, author of The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal
‘Sparkles and dazzles with new meanings and old magic. You’ll never see snow in the same way again.’ – Matt Gaw, author of Under the Stars: A Journey Into Light
‘A sparkling prism to reveal what snow means to different cultures… [an] exploration of the language that describes myriad snowscapes, from mountain peaks and ancient glaciers to boreal cities and Baltic landscapes.’
- National Geographic
‘A miraculous snow bank of niveous names and knowledge as delicate and multifaceted as the flakes it celebrates. A glittering cloud of Inupiaq, Icelandic, compound Maori, Finnish, Scots, Thai, Hebrew, American Sign Language.’
- Dan Richards, author of Outpost: A Wild Journey to the Ends of the Earth
‘Pithy, clear-eyed… like so many magical portals, offering fleeting but fascinating glimpses into unfamiliar worlds.’
‘This is a book of now… It shows us how we are connected and united across languages and across borders, through our environment, climate, stories and Nature. Fifty Words for Snow is both gorgeous and important to hunker down with, whatever the weather outside.’
- Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine