Ways to Say Winter

in Dutch:    winter
in German:    winter
in Danish:    vinter
in Icelandic:    vetur
in French:    hiver
in Finnish:    talvi
in Catalan:    hivern
in Italian:    inverno
in Spanish:    invierno
in Latin:    hiems
in Greek:    χειμώνας
in Persian:       زمستان
in Thai:    ฤดูหนาว
in Chinese:    冬天
in Japanese:    
in Russian:    зима
in Maori:    takurua
in Figian:    vulaililiwa
in Somali:    jiilaal
in Zulu:    ubisika
in Turkish:    kış

Or, in Me:
warm kisses
cold noses
old music
clasped hands
beards, thick with
snow-bowed trees 
red cheeks
long, finely-knitted scarves
people pressed together
wooly mittens
mulled apple cider
white white


  1. How long did it take you to find all those words? Pretty cool, was actually thinking would that make a great wall plaque for different seasons to hang at the door.

  2. Thanks much, you two. I love the idea of a wall plaque for the seasons...it would bring the outside world in, in such a simple, true way. Please let me know if you every try it. Here's a website to get you started. :)


  3. Emily:

    I'll drink (cider) to the frost-lace and quiet, snow-bowed trees.


  4. beautiful... so beautiful. Thank you, with my love, nşa

    1. Thank you for reading along, Nia. All best to you this winter!

  5. First, I find it very interesting that Italian for winter is Inverno. Sounds like inferno, which could be construed as the exact opposite of winter. But more important I love these descriptive pieces that you write about the seasons. Your ability to find a phrase or a single word that evokes an image is simply wonderful. Part of why you are such a good writer.

    1. I thought that too about the Italian word, Bill. I wonder what the roots of both inverno and inferno are? Perhaps Robert Frost would have something to say about that pairing... :) Right now another word/phrase I could add is "BONE CHILLING." Just heard we're going to drop down into -35' territory these next days. Time to bundle up!

    2. That's cold! And you have to keep two warm!

    3. Actually, The baby has been keeping me extra warm. Hardly felt the cold the other night!

  6. A friend and I were bemoaning our lack of winter this year and comparing notes on winters past. Both of us can call up at will the smell of wet wool mittens drying on a grate or radiator, the squeak of truly cold snows and the slice of blades across the ice.

    I was interested in Fiji's winter. It seems it's the same as the winter in equatorial Africa - it's the difference between dry and rainy seasons rather than a drop in temperature. And the Maori winter is entrancing. The word "takurua" apparently refers to the star Sirius, and the appearance of the Pleiades mark the season's turn. There are two primary seasons, summer and winter, personified in two beings named Hineraumati, the Summer Maid, and Hine-takurua, the Winter Maid.

    Thanks so much for the wonderful words, and the warm, personal images. And stay warm yourself!

    1. Love these bits if knowledge. I teach a mythology class, so I enjoy discovering the way the seasons so often find their way into the folklore of a culture. Also, I hadn't consciously thought about snow squeaking, but you're right! And I will listen for that now the next time I step outside. Hope you get at least some winter before too long!

  7. I forgot the romance of winter once its cold got all-penetrative. If I could only spend the winter inside, enjoying everything that is outside without ever stepping out... As Laxness puts it beautifully: "The weather's always fine in bed."

    1. That quote made me smile. Although I have to admit, I like getting out in the elements, even the all-penetrative ones, at least some of the time. I went on a walk in a blizzard a few years back, and it gave me some warm life-long memories. I did have a pretty frozen nose when all was said and done, though. :)

  8. Of all the languages you included, I like how you say winter the best.

    Stay warm!

  9. There was a time, earlier this summer, when my friend Zoe and I visited the gardens in Indianapolis. It was green then, vivid green and colorful. But I had the sudden thought about what the grass and the flowers and canopies of trees would look like if they were covered in snow. Blanketed. "Hey, Zoe. What are other ways you can say that snow 'blankets' the ground? Something more poetic than 'covers'?" Your poem at the end reminds me of that poem, when--in the heat of August--we struggled to think of ways to describe the crisp air, the rising mist, the white white pure white of snow.

    1. So glad to bring you back to such a fine moment filled with such lovely musings. I'm going to take the next few minutes and do the reverse: look out this window and imagine May. Lord, the world is spectacular.

  10. Hello Emily, not sure how you found me, but just wanted to thank you for stopping by my Blog.

    Your poem is lovely.

    Stay warm !

    1. Thanks, Sybil. I found you through Julian's blog. Glad you hopped over! Stay warm yourself. :)

  11. "frost-lace"- so beautiful. loving winter right now.


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