Saturday, March 21, 2015

Onion Snow

Someone referred to the yesterdays snowfall as an "onion snow". Apparently, that is a Pennsylvania Dutch saying with several meanings but either is appropriate. One is the last snow of the season and the other is it's time to plant your onions. Both made sense but was surprised at hearing the term.

  • n.
    Chiefly Pennsylvania A light snow in late spring, after onions have been planted.
We leave PA on a flight this evening and arrive in Fairbanks tomorrow morning with a 9 hour layover in Seattle. The warm weather in Fairbanks is apparently creating havoc again at least based on the text messages I have been receiving. Black ice, lots of accidents and cars and trucks sliding off the road. No snow on any roads today from Hershey, PA, to Philadelphia. 

18 comments:

Martha said...

Ice and up to 2 inches of snow predicted here starting Sunday night. We can use the rain and the snow won't be bad. Bulbs are sending up shoots, green leaves under the brown leaves. Your weather in AK looks pretty nice for the week!

Safe trip home.

Unknown said...

I love such language nuggets. Figures of speech typically have fascinating (and sometimes disturbing) origins. Thankfully "onion snow" isn't the least bit disturbing and is actually quite charming.

Thanks, Richard, for satisfying your curiosity and for sharing it.

Canajun said...

I would have thought onion snow is the kind that makes you cry. I know I'm crying (nearly) as I look out at a mini-blizzard on this first day of spring! Safe travels home.

SonjaM said...

Nice local lingo tidbit. I was even more surprised that Pennsylvania Dutch actually has nothing to do with the Netherlands but with early German immigrants (Dutch = Deutsch = German).

VStar Lady said...

Richard I have to agree with Canajun. I would have thought for sure it was another blast of winter to make you cry ... I know they are crying on the east coast today as they prepare for yet another blast of winter. I've enjoyed your trip east - safe trip home.

Trobairitz said...

I'd never heard of that term. Thank you, I learned something.

Welcome home. Hope the roads aren't too slick.

RichardM said...

Thank you, after seeing Erik's lack of snow, it looks like WI could use a little more. It does look pretty good for the rest of the week though the nightly drop below freezing does make some roads hazardous in the mornings.

RichardM said...

After the nurse mentioned it, I asked if she knew the origin of the phrase. She hadn't even thought about it. Everyone just used the phrase...

RichardM said...

Maybe that's the meaning outside of PA. That definition really makes a lot of sense.

RichardM said...

There are a lot of folks of German ancestry in the area.

RichardM said...

Maybe it's a Canadian interpretation of the saying.

RichardM said...

I've never heard the term before either. But then again, I think that this was the first time I've been here at this time of year when it snowed.

Dar said...

Most Canadians I know usually say damn snow, getting tired of the white crap. When I'd see the plough barrelling down the street with the blade loaded up with ice snow usually "bloody hell damn snow" and the a few other words not allowed in mixed company

Dar said...

Ps I I'll live in rain country any day over the snow.

RichardM said...

I think that post sidecar, I prefer snow over rain. Even when it's "pouring" you remain dry. Rain is wet and humid. Harder to see where you're going. Plus, I can't think of anyone who has rain-based activities. I.e. things that they can only do in the rain.

RichardM said...

>:-O ! Canadians talk like that?

redlegsrides said...

Onion Snow, nice....always good to learn something new....

RichardM said...

At least once and a while...