Monday, December 31, 2007

The Word of the Day for December 31, 2007

pogonip • \PAH-guh-nip\

A dense winter fog containing frozen particles that is formed in deep mountain valleys of the western United States
Example Sentence:

"The white wafer sun sports a halo, and nearby hills are veiled in pogonip." (Bill Croke, The American Spectator, March 1997)
Did you know?

Readers of The Old Farmer's Almanac might recognize the odd-sounding warning, "Beware the pogonip!" So what's a pogonip? In the mountains of the western United States, the fog condenses into tiny, biting ice particles in extremely cold weather. The English-speaking settlers who encountered this unpleasant and sometimes scary phenomenon when they went out West in the 1800s needed a word for it. They borrowed "payinappih" ("cloud") from Shoshone, altering it to "pogonip."