Sunday, February 20, 2011

Eskimos have 37 words for snow!

First of all, there is more than one Eskimo or Inuit language. Secondly, that isn't true! And Finally, so what!

English has hundreds and hundreds of words for 'group' and the same can be said for 'street'.
I won't give you complete lists, but here are some of the weirdest and funniest for group!

Groups:
A mob of kangaroos, or Angry Villagers (usually wielding pitchforks)
A culture of bacteria
A dissimulation of birds
A clutter, glaring, pounce, clowder, dout, nuisance, kendle, kindle, litter or destruction of cats!
A cartload of chimpanzees (which is sensible, because I always buy my chimpanzees by the cartload)
A murder or a storytelling of crows (A storytelling of crows who get caught up in the middle of a brutal murder)
A bevy, cote, dole, piteousness, flight or dule of doves
weyr, flight or wing of dragons (three collective nouns for an imaginary creature is pretty awesome... and yes, I know there is a Komodo Dragon... and lots of real Dragons too)
A memory of elephants
A parliament of owls
A convocation of eagles
An implausibility of gnus

And it goes on like that seemingly forever! But oh wow, Eskimos have 37 words for snow! Isn't that funny! How strange.... Sleet, snow, ice, frost, slush, crystals and because snow is both a verb and a noun... fall, precipitate, drop etc...

It's interesting how we often don't question trivia as long as it has a specific number (like 37 words) or a percentage or it is claimed to have been 'seen on television'...

It is also interesting how we can see something as fascinating in another culture/language without realising it is exactly the same (and perhaps multiplied) in English!


And I recommend you look into the words for street... hundreds!

1 comment:

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