Everybody knows winters are harsh in Québec. Maybe that’s why people are warmhearted in general… But what exactly is cold?
Inuits have about 50 terms to describe snow. I doubt they have expressions about Danish darkened snow though… Their loss.
On the cold side, I have 4 levels to describe how chilly it is outside. (Not to be confused with 50 shades of grey, silly movie – “Dropped my pen? Bad girl! Come here, I will flog you!” – Silly.)
* Frisquet The first stage of cold, not even cold yet per say. It is the level of almost cold that gives you mild goosebumps on a late summer night spent outside, watching the stars perhaps. Mild breeze, little chill, you wonder why you didn’t bring that sweater after all. You’ve hit “frisquet”. For the spelling bees present in the room, used in a sentence? “Oh, c’est un peu frisquet ce soir!”
* Froid Now, you have forgotten about summer. “Froid” gets fans of ski, snowboarding and outdoor hockey excited. You need to take out your winter coat, but mittens, gloves and tuques are not necessary yet. I would recommend a scarf though. Just in case. You don’t have one? Send me your favorite colors and I will knit you one!
* Frette Ok, now things are getting serious. Cold becomes the topic of the day. You think about putting some sweat pants under your slack jeans not to feel Mr. Frost’s bite on your legs on your way to work. People wearing glasses get temporary blindness when entering warm buildings. Even dogs hesitate to go outside. Skiers, snowborders and hockey players are still happy, but they’re just crazy…
*Frette en tabarnak Excuse my cursing, but it was necessary. I usually refer to that level of cold by saying that the temperature has hit-1000 degrees. You can put as many layers of clothing as you wish, it just won’t do the trick. Towing companies jubilate, boosting cars all day long. Don’t bother breathing through your mouth, your nose hairs will freeze and stick together anyway.
People always complain about cold, but they don’t know what it is not to have it. I lived 5 years far from the coldness of Canada. It was fun the first year, but at the end, I got chills when the thermometer hit 15 degrees. I guess cold is just necessary to really enjoy the spring!