Hoar Frost Pics – And WHY Is It Called That?!

January 19, 2010 3 Comments

Thanks to everyone for sending in their pictures of the hoar frost. We’ve definitely seen a ton the past few days – lots of photo opp’s! A reminder that you can also find many, many more pictures with iSubmit on KTTC.com, also on our KTTC Precision Forecast Facebook page!

As far as why it’s called hoar frost…I did some research and it’s not as bad as what it sounds. 🙂 The term “hoar” goes back to Old English, (the word “har” meaning “gray, venerable, old” – from Dictionary.com). In German, “Herr” refers to a title of respect (also Dictionary.com). Finally, “Of frost, it is recorded in O.E. (hoar-frost is c.1290), expressing the resemblance of the white feathers of frost to an old man’s beard” (Dictionary.com).

From what I found, “hoar” can be used as both a noun and an adjective. In the noun form, it refers to frost, or rime. You may know the word “hoary” refers to something that’s gray or white with age. Hope that clears up our funny sounding word. 🙂

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  1. Kim Crain says:

    Hi Randy,
    Thank you very much for taking the time to find this out for me. I can now tell my friends about it. They all think I’m crazy for even asking. I say, “If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.” I am not afraid to ask. I greatly appreciate your time. You are appreciated. Always remember this. =)

  2. Tiki Decor says:

    Thank you for the great info, i’m going to write on this too!

  3. Guy Marshall says:

    Some wonderful shots there. I certainly do miss MN.
    My belief was that the word Hoar/Hoare came from Saxon English for a fog or thick mist. The combination of the faog and freezing temperatures led to the formation of these amazing ice crystals.
    I have also heard it called a ‘Harl Frost’.

    I know it is quite a rare occurance over there. It is slightly more common here in England due to our more moist conditions.

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