pog·​o·​nip ˈpä-gə-ˌnip How to pronounce pogonip (audio)
: a dense winter fog containing frozen particles that is formed in deep mountain valleys of the western U.S.

Did you know?

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."

Word History


Shoshone paγɨnappɨh cloud

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pogonip was in 1865


Dictionary Entries Near pogonip

Cite this Entry

“Pogonip.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pogonip. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

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