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indo-european winter snowman himalayas hima zima ziema icon

Did you ever hear the name Himalayas? I am quite sure you did!

Their name means "The land of Winter" (Hima laya), from Sanskrit "हिम (himá)" meaning "winter".

Airyanem Vaejah and आर्यावर्त (āryāvarta) is the land of the ancestors of modern Iranians and Indians. It was bothered by very strong winters. Summers were 7 months long and winters 4 months long there. To the West of Airyanem Vaejah there was a land called Sairima.

Germanic "gammal" nowadays meaning OlD most probably came from a phrase "that many winters old" or for example "33 winters old" meaning "He has 33 winters behind him".

To hibernate comes from Latin "hībernum" also meaning winter. Bears hibernate during winter and in Polish it is even better explained as it is said that bears "zimują" meaning "they winter through".

On 4th century Roman map called Tabula Peutingeriana on the far right of it near the Caspian Sea there is a land called "Hiberia". Knowing the change of H to S and S to H, that could be the source or an ancient name of Siberia itself meaning "The land of winter".


Old Church Slavonic: зима ⰸⰹⰿⰰ (zima)

Old East Slavic: зима (zima)

Belarusian: зіма́ (zimá)

Russian: зима́ (zimá)

Bulgarian: зи́ма (zíma)

Macedonian: зи́ма (zíma)

Serbo-Croatian: зи́ма, zíma

Slovene: zíma

Czech: zima

Polish: zima

Slovak: zima

Latgalian: zīma

Lower Sorbian: zyma

Upper Sorbian: zyma

Rusyn: зи́ма (zýma)

Ukrainian: зима́ (zymá)

Ossetian: зымӕг (zymæg)

Frankish: inzimus, inzismus ("one winter old lamb")


Sanskrit: हिम (himá) ("cold, frost, the cold season, winter")


Latin: hībernus, hībernum


Hittite: giman

Old Frankish: gimus

Frankish: ingimus, inzimus, inzismus ("one winter old lamb")

Old Norse: gimbr, gymbr ("one winter old lamb")

Icelandic: gimbur ("one winter old lamb")

Faroese: gimbur ("one winter old lamb")

Norwegian: gimbur ("one winter old lamb")

Swedish: gimber, gimmer ("one winter old lamb")

Middle English: gymbyre, gymbure ("one winter old lamb")

English: gimmer ("one winter old lamb")

Scots: gimmer ("one winter old lamb")


Albanian: dimër


Armenian: ձմեռ (jmeṙ)

Old Armenian: ձմեռն (jmeṙn)


Avestan: ziiā

Kurdish: zivistan


Kashubian: zëma

Persian: زمستان‎ (zemestān)

Old Prussian: semo

Lithuanian: žiema

Latvian: ziema

Samogitian: žėima


Old Irish: gemred

Irish: geimhreadh

Old Welsh: gaem

Scottish Gaelic: geamhradh


Latin: hiems

Ancient Greek: χεῖμα (kheîma)

Ancient Greek: χειμερινός (kheimerinós)


Polabian: zaimă


Old English: gamol

Low German: gammlig

Old High German: gamal

Old Norse: gamall

Icelandic: gamall

Faroese: gamal

Old Swedish: gamal

Swedish: gammal

Norwegian Nynorsk: gammal, gamal

Saterland Frisian: gammel

Dutch: gammel

Middle Dutch: gamel

Norn: gammel

Norwegian Bokmål: gammel, gammal

Danish: gammel

German: gammelig

Gutnish: gammel, gamal

Old Welsh: gaem

Scottish Gaelic: geamhradh


Welsh: gaeaf

Middle Welsh: gayaf


Elfdalian: gåmål

Middle Breton: gouaff

Breton: goañv


Old Breton: guoiam, guiam

Cornish: gwav

Manx: geurey

Article created on the 27th of November 2018.

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