Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Jan 18 19:10:55 UTC 2012

With Seattle under a huge blanket of snow (for Seattle), I turned to the OED to find out about snowpeople. Neither the OED nor the AHD have "snowperson." Wiktionary has it, along with snowman and snowwoman though without citations.

While we don't see snowpeople on a yearly basis here in Seattle, I've used "snowperson" for many years when applicable because it seems odd to identify sexless and female figures as men. I believe my twelve-year-old niece uses the word as well. My dog walker did, though, advise me this morning to make a snowman.

The query ("snowperson" OR "snowpeople") gets 1.1 million raw Googits.

According to, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood introduced a Snow People opera in 1972 (not likely I watched it as Mr. Rogers was passé then for my age group). Searching on that site reveals other snow people episodes.

According to's_Winter_Wonderland, the 1976 "Frosty's Winter Wonderland" discusses snowpeople.

The word does not get many hits until the period between 1995 and 2000 and usage skyrockets after that.

For ("snow person" OR "snow people"), there is a book "Snow Magic" published in 1988 that talks about snow people ( The chronological use of this spelling patterns in a way similar to the spelling without the space.

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society -

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