Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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williwaw

williwaw (WIL-ee-waw) - n., a violent gust of cold wind blowing seaward off a mountainous coast, esp. in the Straits of Magellan or Alaska.


There are similar katabatic (caused by cold i.e. heavier air sinking downslope) winds in other parts of the world, but they often have other local names, such as the piteraq of Greenland. The word can also be used in general for any cold gust. First recorded around 1840, apparently first used by British seal fishers, origin entirely unknown.

---L.
Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/828467.html
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