A Good Home, Cold winter, Ontario winter, Snow, Winter

Fifty Words For Snow

It’s said that Inuit people have between 20 and 50 words for snow. 

Some say there are even 100.

Blog Photo - Trees and snow 2

Well, we in the rest of Canada have 50 words for snow and cold right now.

But they’re not printable.

Don's Studio - Photo by D. Corbett
Photo by D. Corbett

How many kinds of cold can there possibly be?

My friend from Manitoba says theirs is “a dry cold” whereas our Ontario cold is damp because we have so many large lakes – and the damp cold goes ‘straight to the bone’.

Blog Photo - Arbor in Winter

Huh?  On a day like today, there could be 50 kinds of cold and it would make no difference to me.

Cold is COLD in Canada.


Blog Photo - Snowed IN

The saddest story to come out of the extreme cold weather this winter is about a 3-year old Toronto boy – Elijah — who wandered out into the cold at night and froze to death yesterday morning.

The very thought hurts.

We pray for his family.


"Snow Cones" on Spruce Branch - Photo by Hamlin Grange
“Snow Cones” – Photo by Hamlin Grange

Two strangers, in two different places, said the same thing this morning as we parted: “Stay warm”.

Blog Photo - Snowy path

I don’t know if this has become a winter greeting — or if we’re all thinking of that sweet-faced little boy — but it struck a chord with me each time.

Canadian Wool Blanket
Canadian Wool Blanket

Stay warm.


54 thoughts on “Fifty Words For Snow”

  1. did my groceries today, to be well prepared for the humdinger of a storm coming our way tonight…heard all kind of expressions for cold and snow…better not repeat that;0)
    Stay warm and safe, Johanna

  2. Poignant mix of ponderings about snow Cynthia. I’m sorry for the boy’s death and your overload with snow, cold, white sh##. The Inuit seem to have adopted, but I’ll stick to warmer climates.
    stay warm and get more hugs, along with those blankets! 🙂

    1. thanks, Brad. It’s just whining and complaining mostly – it’s Canada after all — but when someone dies from exposure, and especially a wee one, we’re reminded that this cold can also be dangerous.

  3. That 4th photo from the top should be in a frame, hanging on someone’s wall. I’ve been looking for a scene like that all winter.
    I’m real sorry to hear about that boy. I hope he just went to sleep.
    We had a woman who came up from Manhattan and went hiking and froze to death recently. This kind of cold is nothing to fool with and inexperienced people really just shouldn’t be out in it.

    1. Me too. I keep hoping he just went to sleep. How terribly sad for the family.
      The irony is that winter here can be quite lovely (as the photos show) but not when accompanied by long, intense bouts of cold.

      Stay warm.

  4. So sad and so terrible for the parents. My thoughts are with them. Wet cold is the worst kind as it goes straight to my bones too’ so I empathise with you. They say that swearing when in pain works as a kind of anaesthetic – maybe complaining when cold produces a little warmth? Complain away, Cynthia, spring is on its way.

  5. Terribly sad about the little boy. Having had to be out in this frigid weather the last few days makes me truly appreciate having a warm place to go home to. Been a tough winter for a lot of places this year. Spring can’t come soon enough. But, your pictures sure are pretty 🙂

  6. That’s a terrible and very sad abut the little boy. I can’t even imagine what the parents are feeling. Looks like you have a lot of snow, how are your temperatures with the Siberian blast? We have been having temperatures in the single digits most of the week. On Monday & Tuesday we had 7 inches of sleet and it is still on the ground. Another 3-4 inches of sleet predicted for tomorrow evening as well. Stay warm Cynthia! Enjoy your weekend.

    1. If that cold is coming from Canada, Michael, I apologize.
      I see that even Niagara Falls froze, which takes some doing!
      It was so cold earlier this week every breath was like inhaling ice.

      Stay warm!

  7. I heard that story on the radio here yesterday and my heart broke. Such a tragedy I can’t wrap my head around it!

    The pictures in this post are beautiful. I am a total winter weather girl and even I am tiring of the extreme cold with no break. Stay warm!! Tina

    1. It is a heartbreaking event, Tina. Such pain for that family. From all accounts, he was a well-cared, intelligent little boy, at the heart of a loving extended family.

      Winter can be harsh here — and beautiful. Glad you like the photos.
      Stay warm!

  8. Oh Cynthia, what a sad story about little Elijah. That just breaks my heart; how unbearable for his parents. Here in the southeastern U.S., we don’t normally have dangerously cold winters. But we have been getting weather alerts and warnings this week about dangerous wind chill factors and hypothermia. I believe it was Wednesday night that the wind chill in our area was predicted to be -10 to -15, and -20 to -30 in our North Carolina mountains. Brrrr. It’s become a real chore to take our dog out, especially at night, because we’re afraid we’ll slip and fall — our driveway and yard are as slick as glass.

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures with us. I hope that you are staying warm and SAFE. Enjoy your weekend, Cynthia. 🙂



    1. You are welcome, Denise. Winter here can be stunningly beautiful. But sometimes dangerous too.
      I see we are sending some of our cold to you right now. Sorry about that!

      Stay warm!

      1. Yeh. There’s a programme here called Who Do You Think You Are? About famous people tracing their ancestry and one was descended from a chap from Skye or somewhere who went off to work for the Hudson Bay company. He ended up lost in the wilds without one snow shoe. The native Canadians (?) not sure if they were Inuit people or further south, found him and saved him but for three months on his return to base he fought Gangrene. Eventually, because he was fighting so hard they amputated his foot. He recovered, returned to Skye, married happily and had a whole bunch of kids. It was an amazing story.

        Just thought I’d share a happy ever after!

  9. I’ve heard about the inuits creative definitions of snow and was quite intrigued but I guess their relationships to snow is completely different to ours. We just want to get done with it at some stage. I’ve heard about the terrible cold weather in Canada and I’m so relieved to live where I do…just planted broad beans and the flowers are a joy to watch! But you’ll get there too…just keep warm for the time being, Cynthia 🙂

  10. Awful and not a fan of the cold weather, ice or snow – like photographs but living in it has its challenges. We are expecting an ice storm tomorrow into Monday – in TX, these folks don’t know how to handle.

    1. Even we in Toronto have to gear up all over again to drive in it, and stay warm, Mary. What a time we’re having with climate change. I keep hearing all the records that have been made the last few winters here.

  11. Cynthia, you’ve made cold look lovely. Apparently the first responder who found the little child had tears in his eyes. We need to pray for all the paramedics and police as well. Your thoughtfulness in your posts always touches me.

    Warm blessings ~ Wendy ❀

    1. Snow is indeed lovely, Wendy. But dangerous too. So many people — police, paramedics and ordinary civilians – went searching for little Elijah and the grief over his death is widespread.

  12. Yes – stay warm, stay safe. Almost like a mantra as the temps keep dropping to zero and below, temperatures I, in all my life, have never known in New Jersey. Watch your children, bring in all your animals, and keep tabs on the elderly. Inuits we’re not!

    1. That’s for sure, Jeanne. I don’t know how the Inuit ever coped with such bone-chilling temperatures and mountains of snow. My goodness. Such sturdy folk they must have been, all these centuries of ice and cold.

  13. Warm hugs, Cynthia, pressureless hugs that vacuum up the pain! (Our driveway is covered with ice, but that is nothing compared to your winter. My daughter went to grad school at U. Toronto.)

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