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To de-ice. De-icing. Anti-icing.

English: To de-ice. De-icing. Anti-icing.

French: Dégivrer. Dégivrage. Antigivrage.


Speaking of weather, let’s focus on one very important aspect of aviation. When the weather is cold, an airplane often needs to be de-iced before take-off in order to remove any snow, frost, or ice that’s sticking to the wings or other critical surfaces of the aircraft.


If you’ve ever flown (even as a passenger) during the winter months, especially in Canada, your aircraft probably had to get de-iced before take-off. As a flight attendant in Canada, de-icing is something you’ll regularly come across flying in the winter months. Even when surface temperatures are well above zero, de-icing may sometimes still be necessary if the plane accumulated ice and frost on its wings from its previous flight. Flying at higher altitudes, the temperature is much colder and moisture may have frozen to the wings.


De-icing is the process by which the snow, frost and/or ice is removed from the wings and critical surfaces. Anti-icing is done to prevent new snow, frost and/or ice from forming, namely while de-icing is done when precipitation is still coming down and sticking to the wings and critical surfaces.


In French, we have:

To de-ice=Dégivrer

De-icing=Dégivrage (m)

Anti-icing=Antigivrage (m)


While the word “ice” is the root of the English words, the root “givre” (m) is the root of the French words.

Givre (m)=Frost.


Canadian Francophones tend to use a lot of anglicisms and French expressions derived from English. You may remember that the French word for “ice” is “glace” (f). For example “de l’eau, sans glace” “some water without ice” or “du jus avec de la glace” “some juice with some ice”. When speaking of de-icing,