To say word 'snow' in Inuktitut, there's more than black or white @

December 06, 1990|By Chicago Tribune

TORONTO -- The Inuit peoples of the Arctic, known in the past as Eskimos, drew heavily on their northern environment in the evolution of their language, Inuktitut.

There are more than 30 words for snow, 15 for wind and countless others to describe every facet of winter weather. A partial list has been compiled by Canada's Department of Indian and Northern Affairs:

Aniugavinirq: very hard, compressed and frozen snow.

Apijaq: snow covered by bad weather.

Apigiannagaut: the first snowfall of autumn.

Apimajuq: snow-covered.

Apisimajuq: snow-covered but not snowed-in.

Apujjaq: snowed-in.

Aput: snow.

Aputiqarniq: snowfall on ground.

Aqillutaq: new snow.

Auviq: snow block.

Katakaqtanaq: hard-crust snow that gives way underfoot.

Kavisilaq: snow roughened by snow or frost.

Kiniqtaq: compact, damp snow.

Mannguq: melting snow.

Masak: wet, falling snow.

Matsaaq: half-melted snow.

Mauja: soft, deep snow footsteps sink into.

Natiruvaaq: drifting snow.

Pirsirlug: blowing snow.

Pukajaak: sugary snow.

Putak: crystalline snow that breaks into grains.

Qaggitaq: snow ditch to trap caribou.

Qaliriiktaq: snow layer of poor quality for an igloo.

Qaniktaq: new snow on ground.

Qannialaaq: light, falling snow.

Qiasuqqaq: thawed snow that refroze with an icy surface.

Qimugjuk: snow drift.

Qiqumaaq: snow with a frozen surface after spring thaw.

Qirsuqaktuq: crusted snow.

Qukaarnartuq: light snow.

Sitilluqaq: hard snow.

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