I tried to do my best to describe this

image of a winter landscape in a snow globe

I wanted to buy one. And when I tried to explain to the man what I wanted I looked like an idiot moving my hands back and forth to show him how it works. A 3D globe can confuse people, undoubtedly.

How would we most clearly refer to it? Is there any single word describing it?

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    It's a snow globe. You can buy it with the 3D money in your 3D wallet. That's just what my 3D brain thinks. – candied_orange Aug 21 '15 at 22:01
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    I've never seen a snow globe that was not 3D. – Hot Licks Aug 21 '15 at 22:04
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    globe : "something spherical" ; sphere: " a three-dimensional shape". – Margana Aug 21 '15 at 22:16
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    @Sydney maybe on to something but i don't think a single word is the way to solve this. Steve, is this an example what your trying to avoid: google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://shop.grandcanyonlodges.com/… – candied_orange Aug 22 '15 at 1:24
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    Steve, the standard term for the object shown in the photo attached to your question is "snow globe"—that's what the vast majority of people in the United States (at least) would call it if asked without any prompting about 3D or whatever. Thanks for being a good sport about the teasing that your question seems to have elicited from several jocular site users. – Sven Yargs Aug 22 '15 at 2:04

I believe the issue you've run into is that when you say "3D snow globe" the 3D is seen as modifying the whole of the snow globe and not the scene within the snow globe.

Rather than using some single word to solve this problem I recommend using a more exact explanation:

I would like to buy a snow globe that contains a 3D scene inside. Not just a picture.

That should help you avoid globes like this:

3D Snow globe with a 2D picture of Grand Canyon National Park inside

I do appreciate you being a good sport while we have fun with our confusion.

  • I have seen maybe two such fake "snow globes" (containing pictures) in my 66 years of existence. I suppose at one time there was an economic reason for making them, but any more injection molding (or 3D printing, for "one-off" units) is so economical that there's no point in making them. – Hot Licks Aug 22 '15 at 12:58
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    @HotLicks I can only assume you don't spend much time in tourist traps. – candied_orange Aug 22 '15 at 13:14
  • Not if I can avoid it. – Hot Licks Aug 22 '15 at 13:18
  • @HotLicks: ooh, that's a positive "anymore," right? That expression always confuses me temporarily. – sumelic Aug 22 '15 at 17:59
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    @aparente001 I can only assume you don't spend much time in tourist traps either. Yes, in some contexts snowglobes containing pictures are rare. But say he owns a shop and wants to make clear to his supplier that his customers don't want cheap picture filled snow globes. I can't blame him for wanting to learn how to make himself understood. In fact, I admire it. – candied_orange Aug 24 '15 at 2:48

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