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A Blizzard of Snow Words

Learn several useful vocabulary words relating to snow

I am from Florida (as you shall see later…), which gets about as much snow as Okinawa which gets no snow… so living (and driving) in a area (Fukui, Japan) that has a good bit of snow is an interesting experience to say the least!  But leaving that let’s plough through some snow words!

1. 雪男 yuki otoko – Abominable Snowman
2. 雪女 yuki onna – The Snow Woman from a Japanese story
3. 雪だるま yuki daruma – Snowman
4. 雪合戦 yuki gassen – Snowball Fight

大雪 oo yuki – heavy snowfall
人工雪 jin kou yuki – artificial snow
初雪 hatsu yuki – the first snow of the season
吹雪 fubuki – snow storm
雪祭り yuki matsuri – snow festival


The secret rendezvous of the YUKI OTOKO with the YUKI ONNA was
spoiled by a YUKI DARUMA starting a YUKI GASSEN.

1. 雪男 yuki otoko
MEANING : Abominable Snowman
EXAMPLE: 雪男はビューティーコンテストになんなく入賞しました。
yuki otoko wa byu-ti-kontesuto ni nan naku nyuushou shimashita.
The Abominable Snowman won the beauty contest hands down.

雪男 yuki otoko – abominable snowman [lit snow man]
ビューティーコンテスト byu-ti-kontesuto – beauty contest
なんなく nan naku – easily; lit. troubles without
入賞 nyuu shou – win a contest

2. 雪女 yuki onna
MEANING : The Snow Woman from a Japanese story; for the story in (bad) English (translated by Clay) click here
EXAMPLE: フロリダに住んでいる人々にとって、雪女はあまり怖くないんです。
furorida ni sunde iru hitobito ni totte, yuki onna wa amari kowakunain desu.
As for people living in Florida, the Yuki Onna isn’t very scary.

フロリダ furorida – Florida
に住んでいる ni sunde iru – living in
人々 hito bito – people [note that the ‘bito’ or 々 is really just a repetition of ‘hito’ with a pronunciation change – so really it is ‘person person’]
にとって ni totte – as for…
あまり怖くないんです amari kowakunai n desu – not very scary; the amari means ‘very’ and is used with negative sentences. The n just before desu is often used when explaining something

3. 雪だるま yuki daruma
MEANING : Snowman; A Japanese snowman only has two parts, a head and a waist (no legs)
EXAMPLE: 雪だるまのフロースティは、夢だったフロリダ旅行に行きましたが、それは悪夢に終わった。
yukidaruma no furo-suti wa, yume datta furorida ryokou ni ikimashita ga, sore wa akumu ni owatta.
Frosty the snowman’s Florida dream vacation ended in a nightmare.

yume – dream – just like the English it can also mean what you dream about for the future
フロリダ旅行 furorida ryokou – Florida trip
行きました ikimashita – went; past tense of IKU (to go)
ga – but… [be careful, this is not the particle GA]
それは sore wa – as for all that…
悪夢 aku mu – night mare [lit. bad dream – The same kanji for YUME (dream) is also pronounced MU]
に終わった ni owatta – ended in

4. 雪合戦 yuki gassen
MEANING : Snowball Fight
EXAMPLE: 雪男は雪合戦が世界一強い。
yuki otoko wa yukigassen ga sekai ichi tsuyoi.
When it comes to snow ball fighting, the Abominable Snowman is the world’s best.

世界一 se kai ichi – the world’s best [lit. world – one]
強い tsuyoi – strong; often used in sports to mean one is better than the other team


  • 大雪 oo yuki – heavy snowfall
    NOTE: The OO means ‘big’ or ‘great’ and it refers to the quantity of snow
  • 人工雪 jin kou yuki – artificial snow
    NOTE: attaching JINKOU behind something makes it man-made
  • 初雪 hatsu yuki – the first snow of the season
    NOTE: The Japanese have a fondness for new things and things that happen first.  Other HATSU words include: HATSU YUME – the first dream of the year; HATSU KOI – first (puppy) love; HATSU BASHO – the first day of a sumo tournament; HATSU MIMI – something heard for the first time
  • 吹雪 fubuki – snow storm
    NOTE: In spring, when the cherry blossoms come this word is recycled as HANA FUBUKI (falling cherry blossoms) – Be careful it is fuBUki not fuYUki
  • 雪祭り yuki matsuri – snow festival often with snow sculpture
    NOTE: During the winter, a number of YUKI MATSURI are held, especially in Hokkaidou where it snows the most.

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