Snow metaphors, similes, analogies and idioms can be used to create an image in the mind of your reader, such as:
- Snow is a blanket on the landscape.
- Snow is dancing as it falls.
- The landscape was pillows of snow.
Others can create great aural metaphors, like:
- The snow hushed the landscape.
- The snow chewed underfoot as I walked.
In this article, I’ll share with you 14 of my favorite snow metaphors, similes, idioms and analogies to help you develop more creative texts.
> Read Also: Snow Symbolism
Snow Metaphors, Similes and Idioms
Below is a list of 14 snowy, wintery metaphors!
1. Snow is a Blanket
When the snow falls across a landscape and makes it all white, we’ll often use the phrase “blanketed with snow”. We don’t mean to say that the snow is literally a blanket, but rather that it seems to fall over the landscape like a blanket might if it fell from the sky. The way it settles so you can see the contours of the landscape underneath the whiteness is very similar to the way a blanket might cover something.
2. Snow is Purity
One of the most common cultural meanings of snow is ‘purity’. This is because, when fresh snow has fallen, it appears so incredibly white. There don’t seem to be any imperfections, stains or blemishes in it. The whiteness here is also beneficial, because white signifies purity in western culture also.
This snow is purity message can be tied to the innocence of childhood. Childhood, innocence, whiteness and snow can coalesce to create a purity motif. Thus, you will regularly see references to children “playing in the pure snow at Christmas time.”
3. Snow is Evil
Contrasting to the ‘snow is purity’ concept is the ‘snow is evil’ one that we see in stories such as Narnia. Snow comes during the cold and at wintertime, two things that we envisage as negatives (in contrast to warm and summer). Thus, we can imagine narratives of the ‘endless winter’ like in Narnia to signify the reign of evil. These narratives regularly contain a snowy landscape, which melts away to signify the end of bad times and the coming of good times.
4. Snow is Floating on Air
The way snow falls to the ground – delicately and meanderingly – makes it look like it’s ‘floating’ on air. Of course, the snow isn’t floating. It does fall slowly. But this metaphor automatically brings up a visual of big thick snowflakes falling slowly and side-to-side.
You can create plenty of metaphors around the way snowflakes fall – whether it’s ‘floating’, ‘wandering’ or ‘meandering’. The only limit is your imagination!
5. A Sea of Snow
If you look out over a white snowy landscape, you might imagine it to be a rolling seascape. We would use this metaphor if the snow has totally covered the landscape and all you see is white. It invokes the idea that everywhere you look there is snow, just like when you look out over the ocean all you can see is water to the horizon.
> Read Also: Ocean Metaphors
6. The Snow Swallowed my Foot
This is a metaphor you might use if you step out into the snow and your foot sinks into the soft surface snow. Of course, snow doesn’t have the capacity to swallow like an animal or human can. But the metaphor gives us this sense of your foot suddenly disappearing into the snow like it’s a trap or a mouth coming out to ‘swallow’ your foot whole.
7. The Snow Chews under my Feet
When snow is icy and dry it often makes a crunching sound underfoot. To spice this up and give your reader a nice clear image in their mind of this type of snow, you could say it ‘chews’. This gives you the idea that with each step there’s a crunch underfoot. As you walk, the repetitive crunching sounds a bit like an animal chewing away at something.
8. The Snow Hushed the Landscape
One of the things I love most about snow (especially when it falls in the city) is the silence that seems to fall on the city. Snow (literally) has the effect of insulating the landscape to prevent echos and the spread of sounds.
To invoke this sensation in the mind of your reader, you can say that the snow ‘hushed’ the landscape. Of course, the snow isn’t going around saying “hush, hush, be quiet!” But we’re utilizing personification here to give the snow agency as if it were a human.
9. The Snow Danced as it Fell
Earlier I referred to snow as ‘floating’ as it falls to the ground. Another nice way to describe the falling of thick snowflakes is to say it ‘danced’. Snowflakes can appear to fall in a rhythmic back-and-forth pattern.
The flakes can also look like they’re interacting with each other, swapping places and spinning around. So you could go further with this metaphor and say the snowflakes are doing a waltz or tango to refer to this way they seemingly interact.
10. The Snowbank Towered Overhead
In mid-winter, snowbanks can get very high. If you see a snowbank that’s taller than you are, you could say that it’s a tower. This gives you the sense that it is so tall that you’re dwarfed by its height. You might want to use this analogy in a story where there was an enormous snowstorm that led to huge snowbanks by the side of the road.
11. Clouds of Snow
When soft, dry snow falls over a landscape, it can look like clouds. The gentle softness and fluffiness of snow might remind you of the clouds overhead.
This metaphor also makes me want to dive into the snow and feel it gently catch me as if it’s a big fluffy bed.
Similarly, many skiers and snowboarders say when they’re skiing on powder snow that it feels like skiing on clouds because of the softness and the sense that you can’t even feel the bottom of the snow under your skis.
Read Also: Cloud Metaphors
12. Pillows of Snow
You will often hear people calling snow ‘pillows’. You might say this if there’s a nice fresh soft snowbank that you can dive into and feel it softly ‘catch’ you. This metaphor is also widely used when talking about skiing where skiers like to ‘ski on pillows’, meaning nice soft sections of snow.
This will give an image in your reader’s mind of thick fields of snow, as opposed to icy wet snow which you’d sooner call an ice rink or a slab than a pillow!
13. The Snow Greeted Me in the Morning
I love this metaphor. I can imagine getting out of bed and opening my curtains to see a winter wonderland outside. This ‘greeting’ gives you a positive interpretation of the snow. Perhaps the sun will be shining and the blue skies out overhead. You might spend the day tobogganing or simply walking through the snow with a nice warm mug of hot chocolate.
Read Also: Winter Symbolism in Literature and Film
14. The Snow Empathized with my Mood
In contrast to the above metaphor, this one might give you a sense of a grey and stormy snow day. You could be sitting inside feeling bad for yourself. Looking out the window, the bad weather appears to be empathizing with how you feel. You’ll find that the weather is often evoked as a motif for the emotions of a protagonist in film and literature. A rainy day, for example, is often used when someone is sad, while a rainbow represents the start of something new.
Read Also: Rain Metaphors
This list of snow metaphors is by no means exhaustive, but they are 14 good snowy analogies to get you thinking about how to describe snow in creative ways. Try to find an analogical description that creates an image (or even a sound) in the mind of your reader that will give them a sense that they’re right there in that snowy scene you’re setting.
If the above metaphors and similes are not the ones you’re after, go ahead and create one of your own. Use the above examples as creative stimulus to think about one that’s perfect for your situation. The only limitation is your imagination!
I’m a Scorpio, I love the outdoors, and I’ve written articles in some major online publications like Medium and The Weekly. My favorite metaphor? Anything that’s got to do with baseball. I’m fascinated by the fact our language has baseball weaved all through it. Read more about me here.