Snow words

Snowy landscape

About this list

One day I thought, “Hey! I should list all Norwegian words about snow!” Then I did. For almost a year I worked (very) sporadically on this list, and then published it as a blog post. Since then I’ve had about two hits a day from people searching for Norwegian or Nordic words for snow.  So if that’s why you’re here, hi!

This is a list of Norwegian words about snow. It is probably far from comprehensive, and some of the translations might be a bit off, but it is a list of Norwegian snow-words, and probably one of the more comprehensive ones on the internet.

Up front I have to declare that the huge majority of these words are collected from http://folk.ntnu.no/ivarse/snjoord.html. This page set out to simply list words relating to snow, providing translations of a few. It is an excellent list, including a great deal of snow-words I would never have thought of without it. This list would probably not exist at all without having that as a base. However, the list is a little lacking in definitions, and even more so in translations. I set out to fill in these blanks.

What words have been included, and what words haven’t

By necessity some editorial decisions had to be made when compiling this list. The Norwegian language is extremely rich in dialects, the differences of which often carry through into the spelling of words. In addition to this we have “Nynorsk”, a second Norwegian language with significant differences from Bokmål.  Bokmål being the form generally accepted as the “standard” form of Norwegian. Due to grammar or accents the same words can therefore have multiple accepted spellings. In some cases I include these, in other cases I don’t. As a general rule I have tended to include differing pronunciations of the same word (laussnø and løssnø, sørpe and surpe), but have not included all the accepted grammatical forms of a word (heiske is included, heiska is not). Where a word is a compound word, I have also (of course) not included all regional versions of all the compounded words, as that would make for a very long list. Snøbyge is included, snjobyge, snøbygje, snjobygje and so on are not, even though they would technically be acceptable.

Note also that I have omitted a large chunk of words from the list I’ve used as my base: I am not including words that are, or describe equipment used to interact with snow. I have also omitted words where I think they become a little too contrived (snowman is included, but snow-dog, snow-bear, snow-bunny, and so on are not.)

The list is not perfect, but if I tried making it perfect I would probably never get it published at all, so consider this a constant beta-version. If you find any errors or omissions, please contact me. Hopefully the list will grow with time!

The list

A note on the layout of the list: If you are looking for the meaning of a specific word, your best bet is to use the find-function in the browser (Ctrl-F). The layout of the list is intended to first and foremost present the reader with the definition of the words, and allow them to continue on to the Norwegian word if they should be interested.

 

Words for plain old snow: Snø, snjo, snjø, snog, snjor, sjog, sjo, sny, snjy.
Old Norwegian words for snow: snár, snór, snær
Words for the verb, “to snow”: snø, snøa, snjoa, snova, snøva, snjøa, snøge, snoge, snjóge, snya, sne
Something that is covered with, messed up by, or full of snow: snøut, snøete, snøug

Hailstone: hagl
Small hailstone: eiter, eitersnø
Light, small snow-flakes: fjukr
Larger snowflakes: snøflukse, snøflygse, snøflysse, snøfloke, snøflinte
small’ish snowflakes: snøfjom, snøfjon, snøfnugg
Snowrag: snøfille
Snowflake: snøflak
Very large snowflake: snøfloke, snøflinte, snøflukse
Very, very large snowflage: snøkjerring
Grain of a hail-stone: haglkorn
Snow-crystal: snøkrystall
Grain of snow: snøkorn
Fine hail, fine snow-particles: eiter, eitersnø, eitresnø
Wet, “rainy” snow: slette, sludd, slatter, snøslat, snøslass
Verbs of the above: slette, sludde, slute, slatre
Sporadic snow: fauker
Verb of the above: faukre
Dry, sporadic, light snow: fjautr
Verb of the above: fjautre
Heavy-falling snow: fana
Adjective for light fluffy snow: fyklen
Sporadic, light, small snow-grains: føyr
Sporadic, light, snow-grains that fall while it is windy: snøslit
Area of spread out snow: snøklesse
Area of very wet snow: valleslette
Area of wet thick snow you have to vade through: valleklesse
Area of a mixture of wet snow and snow: valleslette
Snow falling light and sporadically: snøfluskra, snøfokra
Snow blowing around: drivsnø
Very, very small ice-crystals formed by steam that freezes: frostrøyk
Artificial snow made by squirting water, and freezing it in flight: kunstsnø
Hailstorm: haglskur
Very sporadic falling of very small snowflakes: faukre, fukre
Verb of the above: fjukre
Snowy weather (verb) with dry, light snowflakes that aren’t falling very quickly: fjautre
The name of the flakes falling in the weather described above: iming

A mixture of snow and rain falling: dape
Very cold weather with just a bit of snow: gnastervêr
Very sporadic snow in otherwise very clear weather: heiske
The above, but the snow moves horizontally a lot before falling down: heideskav
A LOT of snow (verb): lave
Very light and small flakes of snow or rain with a very light wind: grim
Snowy weather: snøvér, snøvær
A sudden occurrence of very heavy snow: snøbyge
Average amount of snow falling down: snøfall
Just a small amount of snow falling down: snødett

Very dense snow: snøkyng
Weather involving a lot of snow: snøtjukke
A lot of snow blowing around (may come from the ground): snøfok, snøføykje
A lot of snow being blown around by a VERY strong wind: snøbus
Just a little snow being blown around by a very strong wind: snøføyk
Snowstorm: snøstorm
Snow that is being blown into kind of a wavy formation by the wind: snødrev, snødriv, snødrift
The above done with very strong wind: snørok
Snow which blows along the ground so it looks kind of like a stream of water: snøgov, snøgauv
A gust of wind with snow in it: snøkast
Sudden, strong downfall of hail: haglbyge
Rain with occasional hail: haglbrest
Sudden, not always that strong, downfall of hail: haglskur
Hailstorm: haglstorm
Dry, light snow: flissnø
Downfall of wet snow in a very local area: dapekave
Thick air with snow: kovdam
Very local downfall of wet, big, snowflakes: slettekave
A mixture of snow, wet snow and rain: halvgote
Frozen ground: hardang
Snow coming from above, but blowing around a lot: himmelsfok
Snow coming from the ground, blowing around a lot (can also be used about dust, sand, etc.): jordfok, roksnjo
Wind with some snow blowing along in it: rennedriv, rennefok snøfok
A period of time with a lot of cold weather and snow: illri
Weather involving a lot of wet snow: kleksevêr
Verb for the falling of very light and thin snow: snøhære
Very for the falling of very thin snow: snøravl
Snow is expected: snødrått, snøeleg

Clouds that contain snow: snøbakke
Cloud from which it is snowing: snøsky, snøelte
Very big cloud from which it is snowing: snøhamar
General weather with clouds that look like they are going to snow: snøhimmel

Words for snow lying on the ground:

A mixture of snow and water: sørpe, surpe
Wet snow: slaps, slafs, slatter, slass
Wet ice and snow in which one can vade: vodl, snøslaps
Water containing snow or ice: stroppe
“Snow” created through steam being frozen onto solid surfaces: rim, hele
Hard, compact, icy grains of snow: borr
Snow from last year: firn
Snow with a hard surface with loose snow under it: skare
Wet snow which has frozen: avrange
Hard surface of snow which has frozen: hjårn
An uneven surface of snow which has frozen to ice: gadd
Slippery and hard snow or ice, often on roads: hålke
Adjective for wet, often recent, snow which sticks and is ideal for snowballs: kram
Ice, or the surface of ice and snow on water etc (or “Ice Cream” in fact): is
Newly fallen snow: nysnø
Snow from last year: fjorårssnø
Loose and dry snow: mjellsnø
Dry, powdery and light snow: tørrsnø

Words commonly used about snow on which one goes skiing:

Loose snow: laussnø, løssnø
Powdery snow: puddersnø, pulversnø,finsnø
Compact, small grains of snow: kornsnø
Snow with a strong hard surface: uppstøding
A flake of a strong, hard snow-surface: skaraflere
Newly fallen snow with an icy surface: jøkleføre
Deep snow with a consistent consistency: kjellføre
Annoying snow which will bulk together and build up on the underside of your skies: klabb, klabbe
Snow which has been compact and is now broken to pieces: mylsnø
Wet snow with a “porrogy”-consistency: snøgraut, snøgopel, snøgrop, snøgyrje

More general descriptions of snow, or areas with snow:

Small lumps of ice or snow: krap
Snow blowing strongly in the wind: fokksnø
Snow which has blown into a bunch with other snow: drivsnø
Snow on glaciers: bresnø
Glacier-ice: breis
Blue glacier-ice: blåis
Areas of water on snow, or snow that is full of areas of water: blåstøde
Bug area of heavy snow: slette
A very thin layer of snow: snøfån, snøhela, snøhim
A hardly visible layer snow snow which will soon dissapear: snøskrimsel

About the ways in which snow can arrange itself without interference from humans:

Glacier: jøkul, isbre, snøbre
Snow which has been arranged very thickly by the wind: snøfonn, snøfann, dunge
Something which is covered with snow (adjective): fent
A very heavy cover of snow: folge
A packed area of snow with with a sharp/steep edge: skavl
A crust of snow or ice on the edge of a mountain: bræne
Adjective describing very patchy snow with clear spots in between: skjerja, skjerven
A bunched up mass of snow on the side of a mountain: æke
Snow on branches: raunsveig, lavsnø
An edge of snow, often along a road or path: bard, barde, brøytekant
Completely covered with snow, without any bare spots: snøfast, snøtekt, snøfast, snøheil
Adjective for something that has been covered with snow: nedsnødd
Adjective describing ground with snow on it, but not quite enough to cover the stones: steinberr
Very deep snow: djupsnø, dypsnø
A bunched together pile of snow that is hanging off something: snøskute
Ice which is covering a large inland area: innlandsis
A very thin layer of snow: snøfar
An adjective describing snow that very evenly and consistently covers a large area: randheil
The edge of a glecier: brekant
A crack in a glacier: bresprekk
A cave in or under a glacier: brehole, brehule
Iceberg: isfjell, isberg
A drifting flake of ice: isflak
A packed up area of ice: pakkis
Ice covering a river: isgang
Ice or snow which gathers up under ice covering a river, sometimes stopping the water: isdemning, isplugg
A path which is left after an avelanche: snøgote,fonnefar
A narrow path left after an avelanche: fonnestrek
Snow lying over a river: snøbom, sigleleid
Snow blocking the flow of a river: snøkork
Thick blob of snow floating down a river OR thin layer of snow on soild: snøfor, mylske, snøkrape, snøkrave
Adjective describing a geographical place with a lot of snow: snøhard
Adjective describing a specific place with a lot of snow OR weather when it is almost about to start snowing: snøtung
A place where the snow floats to, bunches up, and stays until spring: fonnestøde
A place with snow and ice… and not much else: isøde
Very slippery ice, under a layer of snow: underhål, svikhål, blindhål
Snow or ice that is almost transparent due to rain: glarhålke
The altitude that the snow starts appearing at: snøgrense, snølinje

Events involving snow and/or ice:

Avalanche: lavine, snøskred, snørås, snøskote
Small avalanche: snøras, snørap
Avalanche consisting of snow and ice: jøkleræs
Avalanche consisting of part of a glacier: brefall
Avalanche consisting of tightly packed snow: kramskred
Branches cracking under the weight of snow: snøbrot, snøbrot

Changes in the snow:
Snow melting: tøya, bråna, tina, tine
Snow becoming “sloppy”: vodla
Snow becoming wet/loose when the weather gets warmer: snølosing, snøløysing, snønåm
An old word for mild weather that melts snow in december, while one is baking Christmas cakes: kakelinne
Same as above, but with “Lefse” rather than Christmas cake: lefsetøyr

Actions one can take in snow:

To plough snow: brøyte
To fall in snow so that one gets it in ones nose and mouth: nysa, snysa
Playing/rolling around in snow: base, tumle, baske
Pushing and grinding someones face into the snow: kryne
Vading through very deep snow: vodla
Vading in snow: grynne
Vading in snow that reaches you to the knees: knegrynne
Rubbing snow into someones face, “whitewash”: snøvask (Thanks to Øyvind)
Snowball fight: Snøballkrig

Words describing the condition, or characteristics of the snow:

Very think layer of hard snow and ice that is too thin for it to be able to carry any significant weight: lettang, berrfrostsnøen ber
Adjective describing snow that is deep, and very hard to travel through, be it walking or skiing: vabbete
Trapped inside by the snow: innesnødd
Snow one has to lift ones legs very high to walk in (as one sinks back down for every step): stolpesnø
Describing the condition when there is enough snow for it to be significant with regards to getting around: snøføre
When there is enough snow to use “snowshoes” (truger): trugføre
When there is enough snow to ski on: skiføre
When there is enough snow to sleigh on: sledeføre
(and a lot of other -føre describing the state of the snow…)

Skiing conditions where you may risk falling through the snow: naudbraut
Snow where tracks, footprints, etc. are very easy to spot: sporsnø
Wet leyer of snow which freezes on the ground, starving small cattle: smaladrepar
The state of the light when it is slightly cloudy with snow on the ground, and it is impossibly to see contours on the ground: snømørker, snømørkt, blindføre

Man-made constructions or formations of snow:

Snowman: snømann
Snowball: snøball
A big snowball, that you would make a snow man from: snøvelte
A very big ball of snow, that you get from rolling a snowball for a long time: snøku
Snow angel, made by lying down on the ground, then waving ones arms and legs: snøengel
Patterns and drawings made in snow by walking around, making paths: trakkarhus
Snow cave: snøhole, snøhule
Ski-track, ski-course: skilåm, skiløype
Tracks left after ski or sledge: dyrgje, braut, ekkje, skilåm, skiline
Deep tracks: skistolp, staupe
Track after a sledge, wheels, timber being dragged in the snow, etc: meidd

Other:

Temporarily losing your sight due to the bright light reflected off snow (snow-blind): Snøblind
Damage to grass that has been covered by snow, and burned by the sun: isbrann
Adjective for when the snow has melted: tøya
When one would normally expect snow, but there isn’t any: berr, snøberr
Frosty ground, but no snow: berrfrost
Lack of snow: snømangel
No snow: snølaust, snøløst