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Phase changes

How ‘hoarfrost’ got its name

December 8, 2012
By Jennifer Schlick

At Audubon's annual Thanksgiving event, I casually mentioned to an elementary school teacher that I had been out earlier photographing the hoarfrost. This led to a conversation about the word and the fact that "hoarfrost" has showed up in a second-grade reading test. Many of the teachers in her school had never heard the word before. We pondered together where the word came from and what, exactly, did it mean? Our conversation sent me searching for the origins of the word.

 
 
 

 

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