Made up winter terms that I wish existed
Prior to this year, I was a fan of winter. As a self-proclaimed snow bunny, I would spend hours shutting down my mother’s pessimistic views on cold temperatures and blizzards. “Look at how each snowflake flutters in the wind! Isn’t it calming? Isn’t it beautiful?” I would muse, staring wide-eyed out the window at these fluffy sky sprinkles.
. . . This, of course, was before the sky dropped a record amount of snow on Boston, complicating my already complex commute and turning a five minute walk to the nearest convenient store into a dangerous trek that even experienced penguins probably couldn’t complete. The point is, I’ve grown uncomfortably familiar with winter’s dark side this past year, and it got me thinking about the huge gap in our vocabulary when it comes to winter words. If New Englanders have to deal with 6 months of non-stop snowfall every year, we deserve to have a set of vocab terms to describe our terrible experiences. Here are just a few.
Consnownation (n.): the apprehension you feel when you hear there’s more snow on the way
A mix of snow and consternation, consnownation describes the dread you experience when the weatherman announces another three feet of snow. I mean, it is inconceivable to me how the snow can just keep coming. Doesn’t the sky ever get tired?
Slother (n.): the spike in laziness that results from never wanting to leave the house
No one wants to sit inside watching TV when it’s 80 degrees and sunny outside. Summer is the time for tanning on balconies, picnicking with friends, and staying up into the wee hours of the night to discuss middle school memories around a campfire. Winter, on the other hand, is the time for sitting inside and cursing the world for taking all of that away from you. When the temperature dips below freezing and going anywhere involves putting on five layers of clothes, it’s natural to lock yourself inside and open up Netflix (or, soon, HBO Now).
Jasperation (n.): the awkward in-between state where it’s too cold to not wear a jacket but doing so causes you to sweat profusely
Jackets are like portable insulation devices. That’s not even a punchline; that’s literally what they are. They’re meant to hold in your body heat and keep the cold air out. But sometimes, they’re a little too effective. No matter how cold it is, jackets always seem to turn into ovens once you walk around for more than 20 minutes; and instead of showing up to work warm and cozy, you arrive with frazzled hair, a reddened face, and a sudden desire to rip off all of your clothes. This would be okay if you worked at a nudist colony but most people are not so fortunate. Your jacket causes perspiration and exasperation. And so, jasperation is born.
Deja Ugh (n.): the feeling that it’s later than it truly is because it got dark far too early in the day
Is it acceptable to go to bed at 7:30 if it feels like 10:30? This is the question I’ve been asking myself for the past few weeks. In the winter, the sun sets earlier in the day, causing the night to roll in right around the time you leave work and making the day feel ten times longer than it normally would. (If you come into work when it’s light out and leave when it’s pitch black, it’s only natural for your brain to get confused about how long you were actually sitting in your cubicle.) This phenomena can be called “deja ugh,” and is similar to the disorientation you experience when you are abruptly woken up from a mid-day nap.
Midnight Freeze (n.): the act of waking up in the middle of the night because the temperature dropped 20 degrees while you were sleeping
During the winter months, going to bed becomes a science. You can’t just crawl under the covers and drift off to sleep. You have to first establish an appropriate blanket-to-no-blanket ratio and wear the right pajamas to avoid suffering a midnight freeze. The midnight freeze is a silent killer that will strike when you least expect it, like the day before a big test or job interview. When you’re staring at the clock at 3AM with frozen toes and ice cold blankets, you’ll know why.
To Snank (v.): the act of climbing over a snowbank to reach the crosswalk button
I’m a walker. No, not the “undead” kind — the kind that would rather trudge through rain and snow, uphill and downhill both ways with no jacket, than get in a car. Most of the time, this is not a problem. The majority of my town’s activities take place in the town center, which is 20 minutes away from just about everything, so walking is never really a big deal. Until it starts snowing, that is. The city never bothers to clear the sidewalks, forcing anyone trying to cross the street to crawl up a mountain of ice just to press the button.
What winter phenomena would you like to see in our vocabulary?
Featured image via Shutterstock.