question from another list about 'takras'

Eric Nielsen ericbarnak at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 30 08:57:32 UTC 2014

I spent many years in rural north Idaho where metal roofs were the rule,
and the sudden slide of snow off the roof was a common winter occurrence.
Never heard any single word used to refer to this phenomenon in those
parts. English does have the word "debacle" to refer to the sudden breakup
of ice on a river--and a big mess.

Thinking of roofs, I wonder about the word "eavestrough" (gutter). I first
heard it from people in Tennessee and thought it was Down South usage, but
a quick Google search indicates it is the norm in Canada. A woman I work
with (grew up on a farm in Mass.) told me that where she grew up, an
eavestrough caught and carried the rain on a roof, whereas a gutter carried
the waste from the floor of the barn.

Eric N

On Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 2:36 PM, Bethany Dumas <bethany.dumas at>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Bethany Dumas <bethany.dumas at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      question from another list about 'takras'
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> "In Norwegian we have the term 'takras', a compound which literally means
> 'roof slide' (or 'roof avalanche'). This word is used both to describe the
> action (the snow and/or ice on the roof is sliding and falling down, there
> goes a 'takras' or to describe the heap of snow and ice that has fallen
> down and is now lying on the pavement or somewhere else where it is not
> supposed to be and has to be cleared away. It is also used metaphorically
> to describe someone who might need some attention and tidying up. Is there
> any such word in English?"
> Bethany
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