Pat Shingleton for Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013

Nearly 8 inches of snow blanketed sections of the Great Lakes. The excessive cold in Minnesota cancelled outdoor winter events. “Blizzard” originally meant “a stunning blow,” often referred to a boxer’s knockout punch. As noted in a previous column, Davy Crockett, no relation to Jennifer, used the word in reference to a barrage of rifle shot and to “taking a blizzard” to his prey. On March 24, 1870, the editor of the Easterville (Iowa) Vindicator newspaper described a massive wind-driven snow event as a blizzard. He compared the event with a severe snowstorm that KO’d the city. The following spring, an Iowa baseball team changed its name to the Blizzards and within 10 years numerous newspapers from New York to Canada were referring to their winter storms as blizzards. Fastcast: Perfect.