Things one wouldn't think were named...

monica197
monica197 Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭✭

The other day my cousin shared with me that the smell of rain is actually called something...

...it is called "petrichor".

Do you know of neat names for other phenomena? I'd love to hear them.

Comments

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,660 admin

    I LOVE that smell. I got to enjoy it just last night, actually.

    I like odd names for things and am finding that more & more things have odd names somehow.

    There are so many terms for cloud formations. I have been learning a few through following various storm chasers. Of course, I think mammatus are quite exciting and cool sounding.

    This next type of snow I am very familiar with. It is like tiny styrofoam balls like snow. I think that it is a fun word to say.

    1. Graupel: Also called snow pellets, graupel refers to round, opaque snowflakes. They form when regular snowflakes fall through ice-cold liquid clouds. Droplets from the clouds freeze onto the crystals, forming a solid mass. Graupel is similar to hail, but is smaller and less dense.

    I found the definition on this site, where you will find many names for types of snow:

    I think my newest favorite word describing a type of snow is now "snirt."

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,636 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning You are the right person to ask:

    Early in my marriage, I was exclaiming at the welcome smell of rain. My husband looked at me and said "It smells like a chicken coop."

    So I have to ask: Does rain smell like a chicken coop? Thanks in advance for your response.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,660 admin
    edited September 2020

    Well, it depends. 😉

    I think rain smells like rain...unless air is being pushed down or over by the air/wind. This can happen before it after a rain. The worst smell, IMO is commercial pig barn or liquid cattle manure after a rain. It kind of takes away any pleasure.

    We were fortunate this year not to smell the neighboring pig barns as much this summer.

    In fact, with less chemical application on the fields, we could smell the freshness of the trees, grass & wildflowers. We haven't had that experience here for many years. It was a beautiful gift!

    I would need to ask, then, where there any coops or an excess of birds wild/not anywhere close by? Maybe something else contributed to that smell. Did he say that it smelled that way no matter where you were?

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 384 ✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I had to look at snirt. After reading the definition it is perfect!

    Out here we get more virga, than rain that actually reaches the ground. We can look across the sky and see it falling, but when we get under it...no rain.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,636 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning We had no coops nearby, so the smell was something conjured out of his memory. He grew up in the country.

    Strange, he hasn't mentioned that our parrot cage smells like rain.

    I totally agree that pig farms and cattle feed lots smell badly.

  • monica197
    monica197 Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl - so is there a word for that?

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Moderator Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 1,114 admin

    @monica197 I believe mondegreen is the word for misheard song lyrics. Here's an example that will make you giggle.

    https://youtu.be/7my5baoCVv8

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 713 ✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl Your husbands memory must have been from some very clean and happy chickens if their coops smelled like rain

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,636 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @tomandcara He was blessed with growing up in rural Pennsylvania during the 1950s and 60s. So I would guess that your supposition may be correct.

    @monica197 I think maybe the word may be nostalgia.

    In the meantime I discovered that the word that describes the smell of old books is vellichor.

  • Rain does not remind me of a chicken coup lol. Vellichor - I love that smell! So interesting as to what gets named and how the name is chosen!

  • Wendy
    Wendy Posts: 138 ✭✭✭

    Did you know that the dot over an "i" or "j" is called a tittle.

    The rumbling of your stomach is called a wamble.

  • monica197
    monica197 Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭✭

    That smell will become extinct unless we have folks who love to read a book as opposed to a screen!

    I was double checking before I posted this and I am just shaking my head...

    I had thought the act of a bumblebee flapping it's wings was called bombulating. When I web searched it for spelling and accuracy all I could find is that to bombulate means the act of producing a fart! Has the English language changed again and I not realize it or what!!? Brother!

  • monica197
    monica197 Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭✭

    I did not know that - I had learned in massage school that it is called borborygmus.

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 713 ✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl and @monica197 I think  vellichor has already become extinct in certain wyas. The process of making and binding books has changed so much through the centuries. Our books are no longer bound in leather and the papers and even the inks have changed. It is a little like rural Pennsylvania in the 50's and 60's. That too has changed. I am grateful to be a senior citizen and have experienced the America that I did, growing up in the 50's and 60's in a small town.

  • monica197
    monica197 Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭✭

    @tomandcara Yes - the variety of experiences and rich memories - a wonderful treasure.

  • Fortunately I have quite a few older books, a couple quite old. I cannot imagine not having bound books. I have always loved to read and yes, I have a Kindle that I use as well. When I was in middle school I read Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" and I was seriously traumatized. The message of that book has stayed with me.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,636 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @tomandcara The 50s and 60s were good in many ways, even though I experienced the time in a big city.

    The family and society structure of those days was solid, minus artificial limits put on women and ethnic minorities. Let it be known that my opinion is today's society has swung too far the other direction.

    I remember self-respect, self-sufficiency, healthy food, healthy activity and hard work. All we needed then was a better understanding of people who were different than ourselves.

  • water2world
    water2world Sherry Jochen Sevierville, TNPosts: 534 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    @shllnzl - isn't it funny how simple things like a smell can conjure up an image! Maybe that is what is happening with your husband.

    I'm like you and love the smell of rain---so fresh!

  • monica197
    monica197 Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭✭

    Goes to show you why fake smells can be detrimental - no one can smell anything around them??!

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 713 ✭✭✭✭

    Is there a word for the smell of autumn? Walking the dog with my wife, we both commented on noticing and loving the smell of autumn. Very nostalgic.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,660 admin

    @monica197 We have noticed that to be around synthetic chemicals...sprays, cleaning, perfumes (detergents, etc), cigar & cigarette smoke (even if you don't smoke but have smokey items in house) and not eating cleanly, affects even the best sense of smell so that you don't perceive true smells well, if at all. Those same things that smell are more readily perceived properly in a very fresh, clean air environment.

    Our outdoor walks have been richly scented with the most beautiful, sweet & fresh plant smells this year (spring, summer & fall). There have still been sprays used on the fields, but it was greatly reduced for whatever reason. This scent had disappeared for the most part for many years already.

  • monica197
    monica197 Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭✭

    So true @LaurieLovesLearning

    i wonder if perfume wearers use more and more because their olfactory systems get hazed over after a while.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,660 admin

    @monica197 I do think so. I am sensitive enough that even strong natural scents can overwhelm me as if they were synthetic. As for flowers, any petunias & lilacs (if picked & indoors) make me feel nauseated. I absolutely abhor the cleaning aisles in the stores...

    Second hand smoke, laundry/any scents, ag sprays...exhaust & more, it can overwhelm that system so easily. I think it is a more delicate system than many people realize and is certainly affected by synthetic scents & other unnatural chemicals. People have no idea what intricate beauty of natural scents they are missing out on.

    So many people think that they smell so good, but unfortunately they smell so strong that I would rather run from than to them. It doesn't lend to me wanting to hug them if I can't breathe...To me, it is no different than really bad body odor.

    Haha, wear a strong perfume & I will have no issue keeping my 2 metre/6' distance nowadays.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,660 admin

    Well, on that note, I remember a little girl who substituted the lyrics in our anthem. "Our home and native land" was changed to "Our home in naked land." 🤣

    Kids are great inventors of new words since their vocabulary is often limited. I don't know what happens to the rest of us.

  • MelissaLynne
    MelissaLynne NE Washington🌲 Zone 5aPosts: 205 ✭✭✭

    I have a pocket dictionary that was published in 1910. I love the smell...and the changes that have happened in the English language are always interesting to observe.

  • MelissaLynne
    MelissaLynne NE Washington🌲 Zone 5aPosts: 205 ✭✭✭

    For me the smell of autumn is the sweet smell that Katsura leaves give off as they yellow, fall and dry. I really need to plant one now that I live in out the country. I miss the scent.

  • Grounded
    Grounded Posts: 154 ✭✭✭

    Each season has a glorious variety of smells that I look forward to every year. Spring has the fresh smell of beginnings carried on a soft gentle breeze, summer has the smell of fresh-cut grass and hot summer days leading into quiet tranquil nights, fall has the smell of crisp air and spent leaves and winter has the smell of cold air, wood fires and holiday celebrations.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 4,660 admin

    @Grounded That is like a beautiful poem. I travelled through the seasons with you.

  • monica197
    monica197 Posts: 1,111 ✭✭✭✭

    There was a street in the city where I grew up called Sesquicentennial Rd. That was in the days before Google! We always wondered what it meant...and why anyone would name a road that.

"Italy is known for tomatoes. Thailand for chilies. Germany for sauerkraut. But tomatoes originated in Peru. Thailand imported chilies from Central America. Sauerkraut started in China. Everything is a remix—and the world is better for it. Share what you know. Learn from others."

-Marjory Wildcraft