Origin of firn
Examples from the Web for firn
Firn, firn, or fern, n. snow on high glaciers while still granular—the French nv.
- another name for névé (def. 1)
Word Origin and History for firn
"consolidated snow, the raw material of glaciers," 1853, literally "last year's snow, névé," from German Firn, from Swiss dialectal firn "of last year," from Middle High German virne "old," from Old High German firni, related to Old English fyrn "old," Gothic fairns "of last year," from Proto-Germanic *fur-/*for- (see first). The only English relic of a useful word meaning "of last year" that was widespread in Indo-European languages, cf. Lithuanian pernai "last year," Greek perysi "a year ago, last year," Sanskrit parut "of last year."
- Granular, partially consolidated snow that has passed through one summer melt season but is not yet glacial ice. Firn becomes glacial ice once it has become impermeable to liquid water.