Monday, October 26, 2009

How abominable is the snowman?

Where did a silly-sounding term like "abominable snowman" come from, and how did it stick to our friend the yeti? As Loren Coleman explains in Cryptomundo, it appears to be a mistranslation of a Sherpa term for the presumed beast, metch kangmi, made by explorer Henry Newman way back in 1921. (The first word of that term is also rendered, more accurately, as meh-teh or meh-to. The whole term can be translated as "filthy snowman," which is actually not too far off.)
Confused yet? Not surprisingly, cryptozoologists who think there's a serious possibility the yeti exists find the colorfullly mistranlated term (one of a host of local names for the beast, such as by the way) to be, well, abominable in itself.

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