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Words of Monsoon: From Petrichor to Nimbus

Every season affects a mood. The monsoon, for example, renews spirits. Yet the seasonal influence extends to more than just the mood, it does so too for language as well.

The Eskimos, it is said, have 52 words for snow.

Here’s our rundown of the words that characterise the Indian monsoons.

MONSOON
[mon-soon] / noun | Origins
β€” Arabic: β€œMawsim” meaning Season).

Definition β€” (1) The seasonal wind of the Indian Ocean and southern Asia, blowing from the southwest in summer and from the northeast in winter. (2) (in India and nearby lands) the season during which the southwest monsoon blows, commonly marked by heavy rains; rainy season.

PETRICHOR
[pe-trahy-kawr, ‐ker] / noun | Origins β€” petro (Greek) + ichor (in the classical mythology sense β€œethereal fluid”)

Definition β€” a distinctive scent, usually described as earthy, pleasant, or sweet, produced by rainfall on very dry ground.

NIMBUS
[nim-buh s] / noun | Origins β€” Latin: a rainstorm, rain cloud, thundercloud, cloud.

Definition β€” Classical Mythology. a shining cloud sometimes surrounding a deity when on earth. a cloud, aura, atmosphere, etc., surrounding a person or thing.

MIZZLE
[miz-uh l] / verb (used with or without object) | Origins
β€” Middle Dutch / Low-German: Mist or drizzle.

Definition β€” to rain in fine drops; drizzle; mist.

SQUALL
[skwawl] / noun | Origins
β€” Old Norse / Swedish / Norwegian.

Definition β€” a sudden, violent gust of wind, often accompanied by rain, snow, or sleet.

ELECTRICAL STORM
noun | Origins β€” American

Definition β€” A thunderstorm.

SUN SHOWER
noun | Origins
β€” American

Definition β€” A meteorological phenomenon in which rain falls while the sun is shining.

DELUGE
[del-yooj, -yoozh, del-ooj, -oozh, dih-looj, -loozh] noun | Origins β€” Latin dΔ«luvium flood

Definition β€” a drenching rain; downpour.

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