Country and Coast: From strinkling to blutherment, all the words for a Yorkshire winter

Snow and very cold weather on the North York Moors produce their own words and phrases, some of which might be extinct elsewhere.

When a light fall of snow – often pronounced "snaw" – occurs, for example, it is known as a "strinkling" but if it continues to fall until there is a thick covering, then we might say "It's reg'lar away". That signifies there are no drifts or unevenness. If there is drifting, then the term could be "T'snaw's stowering all ower t'spot"

If the drifting occurs during a blizzard, with the wind howling across the countryside, then the word "stevvening" might be used. This can also refer to shouting loudly but a severe blizzard could lead to snow "stevvening" and "stowering", the latter often pronounced as "stooring".

A "snow-stoor" is a storm with driving snow, while in some areas, a snow-flake is a snow-flag.

A very heavy snowfall, without any noticeable wind but where everything is smothered might lead to a moors dweller commenting that "It's all happed-in". More than likely, he would drop the "h" to pronounce happed as 'apped, and this refers to everything that is deeply covered with fresh snow.

It comes from the word "hap" that means to wrap up or cover up, usually with blankets and bedclothes, although it can also refer to protecting one's strawberry plants with straw, or filling a grave after a funeral.The chill weather that often accompanies snow can also produce its own language. A person living on those moors might say he or she is "nithered". Another word that implies that a person is cold is "starved".

"By, Ah's starved ti deeath" or simply "By gum, Ah's starving" would imply such a person was very cold indeed. It would not mean they were hungry. Frosty conditions might also produce "shogglings" (icicles), "shot-ice" (sheet ice) and "cat-ice" a half-frozen mixture of snow and water. If the sky was overcast before a snowstorm or even rain, it might be said it was "ower kessen" but the subsequent melting has also its own terminology. If the thaw results in a muddy mess, it might be described as "blutherment" or even "blather". "Ploshy" is another word, and this could also be termed as "plother", "plotherment" or "plutherment", all of which is very "clarty". Even if some of these words have gone out of fashion, there is one that continues to be heard. Whereas many would say "It snowed last night" we can still hear Yorkshire folk say, "It snew last night". After all, we would say that our flowers grew (not growed) so why should we not say snew instead of snowed?

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