- snow (n.)
- Old English snaw "snow," from Proto-Germanic *snaiwaz (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German sneo, Old Frisian and Middle Low German sne, Middle Dutch snee, Dutch sneeuw, German Schnee, Old Norse snjor, Gothic snaiws "snow"), from PIE root *sniegwh- "snow, to snow" (cf. Greek nipha, Latin nix (genitive nivis), Old Irish snechta, Welsh nyf, Lithuanian sniegas, Old Prussian snaygis, Old Church Slavonic snegu, Russian snieg', Slovak sneh "snow"). The cognate in Sanskrit, snihyati, came to mean "he gets wet." As slang for "cocaine" it is attested from 1914.
- snow (v.)
- c.1300, replacing Old English sniwan, which would have yielded modern snew (which existed as a parallel form until 17c. and, in Yorkshire, even later), from the root of snow (n.).
Also þikke as snow þat snew,
The figurative sense of "overwhelm" is 1880, American English, in phrase to snow (someone) under. Snow job "strong, persistent persuasion in a dubious cause" is World War II armed forces slang, probably from the same metaphoric image.
Or al so hail þat stormes blew.
[Robert Mannyng of Brunne, transl. Wace's "Chronicle," c.1330]