'Kummerspeck', 'kalsarikannit' and 'shemomechama' – you might not know the words, but you'll certainly know the feelings.
Did you ever get told as a youngster that Eskimos have 200 words for snow? We certainly did. We also remember being told that it was an old wives’ tale, but the latest studies suggest that far from being an exaggeration, it’s actually a conservative estimate: there are actually 53 words for snow or ice in Inuit, while the Sami (in northern Europe and Siberia) have a further 180. (Our favourite of which is ‘pukak’ – which sounds like the end result of a teenager’s night out, but actually refers to powdery snow that has frozen into crystals that look like salt.) Language really is that rich and beautiful.
Food is just as rich a source of colourful vocabulary as weather – a fact that is beautfilly demonstrated by this lovely collection of linguistic nuggets (put together by travel website Expedia) collecting some terrific examples from around the world.