How Many Words for Snow?

A casual Twitter exchange with @TLockyer and @exploreclassics (on Latin not having a single word for “volcano”) reminded me that Latin does seem to have a rather large number of words for earthquake … ecce (cutting and pasting from English-to-Latin Word Search Results for earthquake at Perseus; go there for links to L&S):

  • chasmatias – an earthquake which leaves chasms
  • concussio – an earthquake
  • epiclintae – earthquakes that move with a horizontal motion
  • mycematiasan – earthquake accompanied by a rumbling noise
  • mycetiasan – earthquake attended with a rumbling noise
  • ostes – a kind of earthquake
  • palmatias – a slight earthquake
  • rhectae – a kind of earthquake

Ostes seems to be the best-attested, but just in case you are confronted with someone trying to impress you with that Eskimo-words-for-snow thing, now you can respond …

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