How Many Words for Snow in Eskimo? How Many Words for Sand in Arabic?
I’ve moved the Geology Word of the Week over to my geology blog Georneys so that I can reach more geologists and not annoy Skepchick readers with detailed geological ponderings. However, I thought I’d bring your attention to this week’s word becuase it has a sort of skeptical theme. In this post “N is for Nabkha,” I write about an Arabic word that is used by geologists to describe a particular sand feature.
You may not be interested in nabkhas, but you might be interested in my investigation of how many words there are in Arabic for sand. I am not going to re-post the whole article here because (1.) I am lazy / busy and (2.) Perhaps not all Skepchick readers are interested in my geological and etymological ramblings.
A popular urban legend is that the Eskimos have an unusually large number of words for snow. This doesn’t seem to be true, but I wondered– do the Arabs have an unusually large number of words for sand?
I researched this to the best of my somewhat-limited Arabic skills. My conclusion? Probably not. As far as I can tell, there is just one word (raml) in Arabic for sand. Read more here.