I had certainly been familiar with “flakes,” people who let me down, who didn’t show up for a repair when they said they would, people who neglected to return books I had lent them, and ones who ignored social niceties. But recently, having heard people called “snowflakes,” I started to wonder what the name meant.

At first I figured that snowflakes are intricate and lovely, but that didn’t seem to go with the way the word was being used as a criticism. Then I thought that they melt easily and wondered if that was the quality alluded to. Finally I went to the internet and read up on the word. Sadly, I left somewhat confused.

Apparently one use of the word refers to the uniqueness of any given snowflake. A child can be seen by parents as incredibly special, one of a kind, and treated as royalty. Thus a spoiled child can grow into an entitled adult.

Another use seems to refer to the fragility of a snowflake. In this instance it is used in a derogatory fashion about young adults who are easily offended or triggered or demanding special treatment.

I think that if a word is this confusing perhaps people my age should avoid using it. As my grandson so pointedly told me last week “You are not up on modern culture, are you?” No, I’m not. Although I can make frequent use of 60’s slang, for me “snowflakes” will continue to refer to the stuff falling from the sky.

25 thoughts on ““Snowflakes?”

  1. I found this online here.
    ‘Snowflake is a 2010s derogatory slang term for a person, implying that they have an inflated sense of uniqueness, an unwarranted sense of entitlement, or are overly-emotional, easily offended, and unable to deal with opposing opinions.’
    I thought it was to do with the weather too. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. Who can keep up? It’s too bad that such a lovely word describing an incredible natural phenomena would be spoiled. I’ll continue to use it ‘properly’ and trust the meaning will be understood based on the context.


  3. Someone called me a snowflake once on Facebook. I just responded with a smiley icon and said, “I love snowflakes. They’re one of God’s finest creations.” My response got several “laugh” icons, so people must have liked my response.


  4. The overuse of “snowflake” in today’s culture is annoying. It seems that if anyone has a differing viewpoint, the go-to move of so many people (especially on the Internet) is to call them a snowflake. I find it rather juvenile.


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