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Polyglot asks if fog is a synonym. I wondered the same thing. Meteorologists may distinguish for technical reasons, and there may be a distinction based perhaps on origin or extent, but whatever distinction there is seems fairly subtle. -dmh 17:07, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I'm not a native speaker, but I've often seen fog described as thick and mist as fine, so there does seem to be a distinction – not only for meteorologists, but also in daily life. Certainly, mist has a nicer, prettier and more poetic ring to it, but that may be because of the meaning in the first place. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:25, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
For example, the effect of a spray can, lawn sprinkler, fire sprinkler or shower is usually described as mist, not fog. This can also happen in nature, such as at waterfalls or ocean shores. In German, this phenomenon is described as a Sprühnebel, which could be translated as spray, drizzle or spindrift. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:33, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

Relation to German "Mist"[edit]

Is this actually cognate to the German word meaning manure? The Proto-Germanic descendants table does not list a descendant for High German for some reason. 12:40, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

UPDATE: According to the page on German "Mist", this word is not cognate with the English word mist. There is currently a contradiction between several of these pages here. 12:42, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

UPDATE 2: According to the page mixen, that word is also related. 13:26, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

They are two different etyma. See Proto-Germanic *mihstaz vs. *mihstuz. Amusingly, I was led here because TV Tropes claims that English mist and German Mist are related, even concocting a bizarre justification for it, which I didn't buy, so I checked Wiktionary just because it's so handy. See also Pfeifer (in German). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:22, 14 June 2015 (UTC)