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Origins Unknown. Possibly from blizzard, a surname dating back to the 1700's(?). The earliest known use of blizzard as a term was in the Estherville, Iowa, Northern Vindicator on 23 April 1870. One week later it appeared again in the same newspaper, only with the now common double-z spelling. Best evidence is that the word was coined in that area of Iowa some years prior to this use.
The blizzard surname possibly comes from the blizzard one, dating back to the 1500's(?).
The word blizzard was used (not in relation to the weather) in America in the early 1800s. It meant a "sharp blow or knock; a shot" (usually gunfire) and later shifted meaning.
- A severe snowstorm, especially with strong winds and greatly reduced visibility.
- (figuratively) A large amount of paperwork.
- A large number of similar things, such as a blizzard of political ads.
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