An inquiring television news viewer wrote recently asking for clarification regarding the difference between the words, "windy" and "breezy." Both these words refer to the same thing; air that is moving noticeably. However, there is no certain wind speed which would qualify either of these words into one category over the other.
In fact, there is no guideline, other than the common vernacular, as to which of the two words should signify more wind than the other. Juxtaposing the two, it is likely that "windy" means more wind than "breezy," but even that is unclear. The word, "wind" is ancient, predating Old English and Old German in the proto-Germanic word, "windan," which meant "to wind" as well as the Latin, "viere," meaning "twist" or "weave." "Breeze" likely comes from the Old Spanish "briza," referring to a cold, northeast wind.