Winter Vocabulary (Part Two)

This week we’re going to look at words that describe ways that you can enjoy the winter season. While Atlanta rarely receives much in the way of snow, we do experience the occasional snowy day or two during the winter months. Therefore, we’ve included a combination of words for winter fun with and without snow.


Snowball: If snow is sufficiently sticky, you can form it into spheres. Small snowballs can used to start a snowball fight. If the snow sticks to itself particularly well, you can roll large snowballs to form a snowman


Snowman: A person-shaped figure made out of snow. Snowmen are usually made of three large snowballs. The top ball represents the head, the middle ball the torso, and the bottom ball the legs. If you have some small branches knocked down from a snowstorm, you can insert them into the middle ball to form arms. Small rocks make great eyes for the “face,” and a carrot is traditionally used for the nose.


Sled: A small toy sled is a great way to enjoy the snow. Take the sled to the top of a hill, ride it down, and repeat until you are too tired or cold to continue.


Hot Chocolate: Also called hot cocoa, hot chocolate is a combination of shaved chocolate or cocoa powder and some kind of sweetener. While you can make hot chocolate from scratch, most Americans use instant hot chocolate packers, to which you simply add hot water or milk. Add a bit of whipped cream to the top, and you have a great way to recover from a chilly winter day.


Fireplace: If your home has a fireplace, you can enjoy your hot chocolate in front of the warm glow from this partially enclosed space designed to let you safely light a fire indoors. Fireplaces come in a wide variety of options suitable for any home. A traditional wood-burning fireplace provides the most authentic “winter” experience but requires a fair amount of maintenance. A gas fireplace provides a similar experience but is safer and needs less upkeep. You can even get an electric fireplace, which provides ambient heat and a “window” with simulated burning logs.


Scarf: This long, knit piece of fabric can be both a great way to keep your neck warm and a fashion statement. A nice scarf adds a personal touch to any winter outfit. You might even consider giving your snowman a spare scarf as a finishing touch.


Skating: If you live near an ice rink or are lucky enough to live near a lake that freezes during the winter, you can strap on a pair of ice skates and go skating. Provided you have the gear, you might even try to put together a game of hockey, a winter sport where two teams on skates use sticks to try to get a puck (a small disc of hard rubber) into each other’s nets.

Skiing and Snowboarding: For most of us, skiing and snowboarding require going to a ski resort. Nevertheless, these are great ways to get some exercise and enjoy the winter months, provided you have the means to do so. Skis are long, narrow planks of wood or fiberglass that attach to special shoes. You use ski poles to push yourself down a slope and to steer. A snowboard is like a skateboard without wheels or a surfboard without the water. You ride it down a slope much like you would a skateboard or surfboard, shifting your position and body weight to steer.