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  • Susan "Zuzu" Skelly

Winter Words

10 Wintery Words, Phrases and Idioms

Winter is here. Is your vocabulary ready for it?

Here are 10 great items to add to your conversations and texts.

Cold snap (noun)

Sudden cold weather, often unexpected

  • It’s usually warm in Hawaii so they didn’t bring cold weather clothes, but a terrible cold snap started the day they arrived. How unlucky!

  • The recent cold snap froze the grapes in the vineyard so we decided to try making ice wine for the first time.

Snow day (noun)

Day spent at home after the cancellation of school due to snow, ice, or very cold weather

  • The kids were all excited to have a snow day, but the parents were a little annoyed because it was the 10th snow day of the year!

  • During the pandemic, a lot of kids mentioned no snow days as a reason they didn’t like online learning.

Comfort food (noun)

Simple food that gives you a feeling of warmth and reminds you of home

  • My dad likes diners and cafes that serve comfort food. In his words, he doesn’t need “all that fancy stuff”. But I like comfort food and “the fancy stuff”.

  • When I’m sick, all I want are my comfort foods – homemade mac-n-cheese and broccoli cheddar soup.

Black ice (noun)

Very thin, clear and hard to see layer of ice on a road, sidewalk or other such surface

  • Black ice is one of winter’s biggest challenges for drivers and pedestrians.

  • The evening news warned people to be careful of black ice on the roads tonight and tomorrow.

Hibernate (verb)

Spend the winter in a dormant state

  • A lot of animals hibernate in the winter, including squirrels, bears, lizards, and bats.

Used humorously when we hide from the cold and refuse to do outdoor activities during winter unless absolutely necessary

  • I like the snow and enjoy going hiking and snowshoeing in winter, but my best friend Janet hates the cold and hibernates in winter.

Bundle up (verb)

Dress very warmly in preparation for going outside when it is cold

  • Even though I’m an adult, my parents still call or text to tell me to bundle up when it’s cold outside.

  • They bundled themselves up and headed for the ski slopes.

Snowbound (adjective)

Unable to leave a place because of heavy snowfall

  • When we woke up, we saw that 2 feet of snow had fallen overnight. We were snowbound!

  • A sudden snowstorm left thousands of people snowbound on the German Autobahn.

Frigid (adjective)

Extremely cold

  • Few plants can grow in the frigid temperatures of the Arctic.

  • We forgot to turn the air conditioning off before we left and the house felt frigid when we returned.

In the dead of winter (phrase)

Coldest, darkest part of winter

  • By the time the dead of winter comes, many people find it hard to get up and get going in the morning.

  • Moving to Alaska in the dead of winter was really difficult.

The tip of the iceberg (idiom)

The small, perceptible part of a problem or complicated situation that we can see while the rest of it remains hidden

  • It’s hard to think of a solution when you are looking at just the tip of the iceberg.

  • This list is just the tip of the iceberg; there’s a lot more that we will need to think about.

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