pog·​o·​nip | \ ˈpä-gə-ˌnip How to pronounce pogonip (audio) \

Definition of pogonip

: a dense winter fog containing frozen particles that is formed in deep mountain valleys of the western U.S.

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Readers of The Old Farmer's Almanac might recognize the odd-sounding warning, "Beware the pogonip!" So what's a pogonip? In the mountains of the western United States, the fog condenses into tiny, biting ice particles in extremely cold weather. The English-speaking settlers who encountered this unpleasant and sometimes scary phenomenon when they went out West in the 1800s needed a word for it. They borrowed "payinappih" ("cloud") from Shoshone, altering it to "pogonip."

First Known Use of pogonip

1865, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pogonip

Shoshone paγɨnappɨh cloud

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The first known use of pogonip was in 1865

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pogon iris

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Cite this Entry

“Pogonip.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pogonip. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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