What is winter?

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Fri Feb 19 02:35:24 UTC 2010

On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 09:22:12PM -0500, Alice Faber wrote:
> Joel S. Berson wrote:
>> At 2/18/2010 08:05 PM, Tom Zurinskas wrote:
>>> A newspaper article today quotes a meteorologist of the National
>>> Weather Service who said that "althought winter officially runs from
>>> Dec 21 to Mar 21, forecasters mostly define it as Dec through Feb."
>>> Forecasters are changing the seasons.  First I've heard about that.
>> "As New Englanders know, winter is the longest season of the
>> year."  [Zielinski and Keim, New England Weather, 75.]
> And how far back does "X has two seasons, winter and road construction" go?

Don't know about that variant, but similar things (I myself
had first heard "winter and July," where X = Ithaca) go back a
fairly long way:

1869 _Proc. 14th Ann. Convention YMCA_ 45, I come..from the
little town of Vermont, where there are said to be but two
seasons, winter and late fall.

1892 J. Ralph _On Canada's Frontier_ Pref. p. v, Far north, in
the smiling Peace River district,..it was only a little while
ago supposed that there were but two seasons, winter and late

1897 _Pennsylvania School Jrnl._ XLVI. 133/1 They have short
summers and long winters here, of which they laughingly say,
"Two seasons--winter and August."

Jesse Sheidlower

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list