Snow words in the comics

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Coincidentally, two syndicated comic strips running today riff off of the old "Eskimo words for snow" canard. In Darby Conley's "Get Fuzzy," Satchel the dog discovers that "cats are like the Eskimos of laziness":

And in Jef Mallett's "Frazz," one of the "really really false" statements on Mr. Burke's quiz is "The Inuit have 100 words for snow and one of them is 'humptydiddy'":

(Hat tip, Nancy Friedman and Ed Cormany.)


  1. Adrian Morgan said,

    January 13, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

    The nearest to true is the one about gas and brussels sprouts. Cosmologically speaking it's all ultimately processed hydrogen, right?

  2. Brett said,

    January 13, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

    @Adrian Morgan: Actually, a lot of the heavy elements come from fusion of primordial helium, which was produced long before the universe reached a state that would normally be termed a "gas" (although particle physicists would consider it a gas, albeit a strongly coupled one).

  3. Brett Reynolds said,

    January 14, 2013 @ 8:30 am

    There was an article in New Scientist recently claiming that newly collected evidence suggests they really do have a lot more words for snow than we do.

  4. Keith said,

    January 14, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

    Actually I would argue that dogs bark at the UPS guy to make him go away, and he does every time, therefore their thinking is proven by cause and effect, and "True" should be an acceptable answer. Also, there was military activity in India between the French and the British during the Seven Years War (French and Indian War) although Bombay was not involved – so "False" seems an acceptable answer.

  5. Geoff Nathan said,

    January 14, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

    There was actually a third one in our Sunday comics.

    I was coming here to find Geoff (the other one)'s email address and found someone beat me to the punch.

  6. Geoff Nathan said,

    January 14, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

    Well, it's not exactly Eskimos, but it is great fodder for linguists.

  7. JPatrick said,

    January 14, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

    If the R on the gear-shift doesn't stand for "rocket speed," then why was I moving at rocket speed?

  8. ChrisB said,

    January 24, 2013 @ 12:10 am

    I'd quite like to start a hare over the use in of the phrase "hellbent for leather'.

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