from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A long wavelike ridge of snow, formed by the wind and found on the polar plains.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of a series of long, wavelike ridges or grooves formed on a snow surface by the wind, especially in polar plains.


Russian dialectal zastruga : za, beyond + struga, deep place into which one may fall; see sreu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Russian заструга (zastruga) (Wiktionary)



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  • Can you suggest anyone who will pay me to do it?

    February 28, 2014

  • Admit it, a job writing limericks about sastruga/i is your ultimate goal in life.

    February 27, 2014

  • I find sources in agreement that this word is most often employed in the plural (sastrugi), which makes sense in practical application and is a blessing to the rhymer. Sources do not agree, however, on the sound of the penultimate syllable: is that "u" like the one heard in "thug" or is it the vowel in "dude?" In both printed phonetic representation and audible examples I find instances of each. I think a conscientious limericist can feel free to pick the more convenient of two offered pronunciations, but I have had the good fortune to stumble upon a pair of solutions.

    When the night is tropic and muggy,
    The air full of odors and buggy,
    I slap at the midges
    And dream of cool ridges
    That Siberians call sastrugi.

    When your truly obsessive foodie
    Gets all restless and moody
    She'll find diversion
    In total immersion
    In meringue folded up like sastrugi.

    February 27, 2014

  • From Caspian West to the Bering East
    Are Russia’s glories much increased.
    Caviar from the beluga!
    Vodka chilled in sastruga!
    The steppes supply an endless feast.

    February 27, 2014

  • "On this second day, the going was getting somehow smoother, with less steering around and more sastruga snow."
    Aurorarama by Jean-Christophe Valtat, p 262

    July 24, 2011