Home of the blizzard
Although Antarctica is the home of the blizzard the word blizzard itself is actually North American in origin.
Where and exactly when the word came in to use is disputed, however the first record of the word in print is in Robley Dunglison's list of Americanisms, that appeared in the Virginia LiteraryMuseum and Journal of Belles Letters, Arts, Sciences, for December 16, 1829. The meaning of the word at the time was a violent blow, as delivered by a fist or from a gunfire shot.
The next recorded use of the word in print is by Davy Crockett, in his A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett of theState of Tennessee published in 1834. Crockett uses the word as meaning a sharp blow when referring to shooting at some large deer. "I took a blizzard at one of them and up he tumbled"
The use of the word in its present meaning of wind and snowstorm, appeared in 1873 in Marshall, Minnesota.
The story goes that group at a hotel heard a sudden wind and snow storm, and among the group was a German scholar who claimed the sudden storm was a "blitzen", which is German for a lighting strike.
The local paper next day printed his exclamation as "blizzard", and as the storm of 1873 was well remembered for years, the word blizzard remained in circulation to describe violent snowstorms.
Blitzen has not only given us the word "blizzard" but also "blitzkrieg" or lighting war of the Nazis in World War II, plus the British referred to the bombing of London and Britain as "The Blitz".
Further information: Home of the Blizzard - the Australasian Antarctic Expedition