Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Dreich

dreich \ˈdrēḵ\ adj.\ chiefly Scottish: dreary

Like the Eskimos who have multiple words for different types of snow, the Scots have more than one way to describe all the different forms of rain that water this verdant land. A dreich day is characterized by dark, gray clouds "hanging heavily in the sky, and although there may be an all-permeating drizzle, there isn't any actual rain to speak of." (full text here) If you've ever spent a few a days in Scotland, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. It's a soaking, soul-chilling wetness that makes you want to curl up in bed with a down comforter and a mug of cocoa. After a gorgeous October, November has vascilated between sunny days, such as we're experiencing today, and cold, windy dreichness.

One of the things I love about Doric (the language spoken by the Scots) is that its words so often sound like what they mean. It is a beautifully onomonapoetic tongue.

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