Word of the day – ortzikara
Today’s word, ortzikara, is Basque and means “time when a storm is brewing” or in Spanish “tiempo amenazado por la tormenta”. Do any other language have a single word to express this meaning?
This word comes from a book I’m reading at the moment – Mother Tongues – Travels through Tribal Europe, by Helena Drysdale, in which the author and her family travel through Europe visiting people who speak minority languages such as Basque, Occitan, Sami and Corsican.
Related words include ihortziri (thunder), tximista (lightning), truxu (light rain), euri (heavy rain), bisuts (torrential rain), zara-zara (heavy rain), ortzadar (rainbow), haize (wind), elur (snow) and bisutsa (light snow). In fact there seems to be quite a lot words in Basque for different kinds of weather.