December 22, 2009 | Pics
Since news valves have been mostly shut off for the rest of the year, publications like the illustrious New York Times have taken to investigating through ‘Google Etymology’, the newly popular portmanteau ‘snowpocalypse’ (or snow-pocalypse, a regional variation left, that we, as noted cultural historians, took note of).
The term achieved prominence recently when an off-duty DC cop whipped out his gun when his car was in the cross-hairs of snowballs during an impromptu snowball fight.
The Times helpfully pointed out that there is a Facebook group devoted to the phenomenon—but then again, there is a Facebook group for just about everything.
They then cite Urban Dictionary as well as somebody’s blog from 06, but we dug a bit deeper, like you’d have to do if your basement apartment was snowed in and came up with the following (Frank Zappa might’ve sung, “don’t go where the huskies go, don’t eat the yellow snow” but we’re not accusing the NY Times of that color of journalism).
After an exhaustive bit of offline newspaper database searching, very nearly as exhausting as the type of shoveling that fells people with heart conditions, we came upon The Buffalo News, October of 2006.
That paper took a break from reporting on the countless fires that plague the Queen City to hold a ‘name that storm’ contest, which resulted in the following entries: The Thundersnow. A Splinter Wonderland, Arborgeddon and “Snowpocalypse ’06″ from a woman in East Aurora, who credited her son-in-law (nobody can accuse of not being thorough. Call us the William Safires of the Canadian comedy scene, except unlike Canadian comedy of late, or Mr Safire for that matter—not dead).
Also submitted: “Snow-nami,” “Blizzacane, and “The Baby Maker” (the latter is a bit all-purpose though)
There must be more however. The Big Flake Out comes to mind. How ’bout Sno-lapalooza? A Nice Snow Job? Getting the powder finger? A snow bank deposit? Dog and pony snow? Mad floe? We don’t know.
C’mon Washington DC, you know what we call 16 inches of snow up in the Great White North? 40.64 centimeters.