Orono — Linguists studying the distinct Maine dialect believe they’ve cataloged every possible swear word Mainers have for snow.
Currently there are 73 swear words Mainers use to describe snow, but linguists with the University of Maine say that number could increase.
“There are obvious ones, the ones that most easily spring to mind when you first have to shovel a path through the dooryard,” said lead researcher Donna Ingalls.
“As the season progresses and snow accumulates, more words enter the lexicon.”
Ingalls said by March, Mainers are stringing together seemingly unrelated swear words to describe the late-season snow.
“Oh, absolutely. It almost sounds like a random barking of obscenities, but the way the Maine dialect works, the swears are often repeated for emphasis in long, long rants.”
Ever-resourceful Mainers will even sometimes invent swearwords on the spot.
“It’s as easy as taking two or three different swears, adding an -ing or -er to the end, and calling it good.”
“Maine’s linguistic depth is unparalleled when it comes to creative use of the filthiest possible language,” Ingalls said.
Sometimes different swear words with the same meaning will be exclaimed at the sight of a snow drift, or the snow around a mailbox that has to be shoveled so the goddamn friggin mailman doesn’t have to get out of his goddamn delivery truck, wouldn’t want that.