snow (1)

noun natural_force_weather


Proto-Siouan *(wa-)wá•

Proto-Crow-Hidatsa *wá•

Crow bíi ‘fallen snow’ GG:29, RGG:6

Hidatsa wá• ‘fallen snow’ J , má•


Mandan wáʔhe ‘snow’ RTC

Proto-Mississipi-Valley *Wá•

Proto-Dakota *wá

Lakota ‘snow’ RTC

Dakota ‘snow’ SRR:487a

Proto-Hoocąk-Chiwere *Wá•

Chiwere ba ‘snow’ RTC, RR, JGT

Hoocąk wáa KM:3179 , waa

Proto-Dhegiha *Wa

Omaha-Ponca ma RR

Kanza/Kaw ba RR

Osage ba LF:17a


Proto-Biloxi-Ofo *(a-)Wahú

Biloxi wahú , †wahú D&S:285b

Ofo abahó , †abahó ‘hail’ D&S:319a


Catawba wa; waʔwə, wa•ʔ FGS, SS, KS:206

Woccon wawawa JL

General comment

Cf. ‘snow (3)’. Biloxi #w- indicates (as Ofo suggests) that there was an initial syllable in the word earlier, since actually initial *w is lost in Biloxi. *wa-absolutive’ + wa- ‘snow’ with the usual vowel syncope in ‘absolutive’ is the most likely source of *W, i.e., **wa-wa > *w-wa > *Wa. We take Mandan -he to be a root extension peculiar, in this instance, to that language. Cf. ‘spring (season)’, ‘sun’, ‘hail’. As regards Proto-Siouan *(-hu): there seems to have been a distinction between ‘fallen snow’ and ‘snow which is in the air, or in a storm’. The form with *(-hu) refers to the latter. Cf. ‘blizzard’. The Woccon form probably corresponds with Catawba waʔwo we < waʔwə + we ‘future, potential’, and means ‘it’s going to snow’.

Other languages

  • JEK: PUA *nepa, kepa ‘snow’ (both nouns) Miller #’s 398, 400. Proto Keresan ‘snow’ *hâ•wé• Miller and Davis IJAL 29:322.
  • MRH: Tunica móhti, móhtu.
Language Cognate Phonetic Siouan Meaning Comment Sources