June 8, 2017 by Gregory Josephs
Fifty Words for Rain
It is rumored that the Eskimo had fifty words for snow—you know, a word for the big fat flakes, and for the little tiny ones that don’t amount to much, for the driving blizzards and the gentle, sound-muffling windless storms. I have not independently verified this, but I’d like to believe it’s true.
I love snow more than almost anything, and have spent a lot of time considering its character. Something I don’t always love, however, is snow’s warmer sibling, rain. I mean, I do, but it gets old pretty fast.
If you happen to live in New England, I think you can agree it’s gotten old. After a terrible drought last year, we’ve more than made up for the water deficit this spring. As I write this, the sun is shining, but the rain will be back tomorrow. So, in an effort to make this persistent grey, gloomy weather more exciting, I’ve come up with fifty words for rain (with select definitions).
Note: Okay, some of these aren’t words per se, but phrases, and that’s alright. I’m following the precipitation labeling standards of Kate Bush as laid out in her hilarious ‘Fifty Words for Snow,’ which is well worth a listen.
- Amphibious – You know, frogs falling from the sky. Duh.
- Ant Crusher – Those really big, fat drops right at the beginning of a storm that could really do a number on an unsuspecting insect.
- Antigravipluie – When the wind is whipping so hard it starts to rain upward.
- Aquacussion – The musical variety that delights residents of homes with tin roofs.
- Bad for Bikes
- Blue Christmas – When you were hoping for a white one but, you know, climate change (or you live in the southern hemisphere or someplace warm, like Florida).
- Campercramper – The type that’ll keep you cooped up in your smelly tent all day instead of hiking or roasting marshmallows.
- Ceilingseeper – You should’ve patched the roof.
- Crisp Afternoon – A distinctly autumnal variety, soft and light that makes life worth living!
- Commiserain – When mother nature matches your mood.
- Demoralizer – When mother nature squashes your mood.
- Dragon’s Sneeze – The warm, sort of icky, misty type that comes on a fast breeze and then is done.
- Farmer’s Joy – Yay! It’s raining! The crops won’t die!
- Farmer’s Lament – I’ve got mud up to here!
- Fingerchiller – Bone chilling, even indoors.
- Guerrilla in the Mist – When you think it’s just kind of misty/foggy, then BAM! Drenched.
- It’s Been Two F-ing Weeks Already!
- Just Snow Goddammit! – When it’s 34° and raining in January.
- Leafbomber – When the leaves gather it all up and drop buckets on your head as you walk underneath.
- Men (Hallelujah)
- Mosquitobreeder – See, ‘It’s Been Two F-ing Weeks Already!’
- Parade Killer
- Pianissimoist – The really quiet, all-day type.
- Preciparomatizer – The quick shower that leaves everything smelly fresh and ozone-ey.
- Repriever – Finally something to break the heat!
- Sad Goddess
- Sandwichsogger – The foil to any picnic in the park.
- Saunamaker – Well, I thought that was going to break the heat. Now things are just worse.
- Sideswiper – The variety that blows horizontally so that walking down the street, one half of your body may remain dry while the other half is drenched.
- Thor’s angry tears
- Umbrellinverter – Don’t you hate when your umbrella pops inside out?
- Wormwrangler – The deep-soaking type the brings all the earthworms out for some air.
Fortunately or unfortunately, there is quite a bit more rain to come this season, and now I’ve got a handy guide for labeling the distinct varieties. Precipitation need never be mundane again!
How about your thoughts? Do you love the rain or hate it? What’s your favorite type? Would you like to add to my fifty words for rain? Give me a word/phrase and a definition in the comments below.
Thanks as always for reading!