Researchers cataloging different Scots words for the white stuff have officially logged 421, including the most obvious 'snaw' but also 'sneesl' to begin to rain or snow and 'skelf' a large snowflake.

The words were featured in a new Scots thesaurus, the first part of which was published online.

The study by the University of Glasgow is part of a pilot project to compile the first ever Historical Thesaurus of Scots (HTS), classifying every word in the Scots language from earliest records to present day.

The first two categories featured on the thesaurus website concentrate on Scot words for weather and sport – being two key talking points for Scots across the centuries.

Other Scots words for snow include: 'feefle' - to swirl, as of snow round a corner, 'feuchter' - of snow: to fall lightly, to come down in odd flakes, 'snaw-ghast' – an apparition seen in the snow, 'spitters' - small drops or flakes of wind-driven rain or snow, 'blin-drift'– drifting snow, 'snaw-pouther" - fine driving snow and 'flindrikin' – a slight snow-shower.

When it comes to sport, it is not football that has the most sporting Scots words: it is marbles that takes the crown with 369 words.

As well as snow and marbles, the new thesaurus covers sports such as golf and shinty, and the many Scots words for clouds and mist, and the team will be adding new categories over the next few months, including another large one - rain.

Following the success of the first stage, they hope to secure further funding to allow the thesaurus to grow to cover more aspects of Scottish life and culture.


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