It is an oft-repeated ‘fact’ that the Eskimos (the word used as a catch-all for all the peoples of the Arctic) have a huge number—some people exaggerate that the number is about a thousand—of words for different kinds of snow. A few years ago I read that that is complete nonsense. Well, according to this display in the Manitoba Museum, there are at least a few different words for snow in the Inuit language. Note that it is only the top few entries on the list, however, which genuinely refer to different types of snow: the others describe the snow’s surface (which is a separate psycho-semantic entity) and phenomena related to snow.
From Across Canada by Train, September 2009