[Ads-l] When Snow Sticks

Mon Nov 9 02:33:17 UTC 2015

In his latest World Wide Worlds, Michael Quinion presents the question, " What do you call it when falling snow, rather than melting as it touches the ground, remains in its frozen, snowy state?"  I think those who live in the snow belt of the United States will immediately recognize this as the snow "sticking," but to my surprise I did not see this meaning of "stick" in the OED or M-W.

Without trying very hard, I was able to take this meaning of the word back to the Dec. 26, 1895, issue of The Indianapolis News (via Newspapers.com), where the following was under the subcaption "The Snow "Sticks"" in a description of a snowstorm:

"At 3 o'clock in the morning the mercury fell several degrees and the snow began to "stick."  It "stuck" rapidly from that hour until daylight, so that the first people out found the earth covered with several inches of soft slush."

John Baker

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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