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I guess if you live in SV you might not have direct experience with this, but English has a lot more than one word for "snow".

In Seattle we have 50 words for rain

Rain, stupid rain, fucking rain, miserable rain...

In Seattle we have 50 words for surprise at the lack of rain.

Really? Like what? I can think of things like snow (sleet, flurries, blizzard, powder) but not any direct synonyms. We can't hold a candle to the Inuit.

Maybe not official oxford dictionary words for snow, but as a skier, I can think of: Powder, pow, fresh, fatties, corn snow, crud, corduroy, slush, champagne powder, wet snow, ice coast snow, flurries, whiteout, etc..

Some words describing how it lays, some describing how it falls, some describing what it turns into, moisture content, flake size. This is how you get to "50" (or just multiple) words for snow. English does it too. It's not just generic "snow" that gets described with 50 words... (but some are just flavor: pow, fresh whateveryougetthepoint)

Why would you have multiple words for the same thing, that don't carry different shades of meaning or uses? What do you imagine these 59 words are used for? Cute little nicknames?

I wouldn't say you should! I imagine the Inuit have a much more sophisticated understanding of snow than someone from Massachusetts.


tl;dr: they modify words by adding suffixes (e.g. instead of adjectives). So they have (can make) 50 words out of anything

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