Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Word of the day: nemophilous

The Oxford English Dictionary has it:

nemophilous, adj.

Etymology: < ancient Greek νέμος wooded pasture, glade (see NEMOPHILA n.) + -PHILOUS comb. form.


Fond of or frequenting woods.
The combining form -philous creates “adjectives with the sense ‘having an affinity for or thriving in (a particular kind of habitat or environment).’”

I encountered nemophilous in “Hapworth 16, 1924” (1965), J. D. Salinger’s last published fiction, which takes the form of a letter from seven-year-old Seymour Glass, away at summer camp with his younger brother Buddy, to his parents and other siblings: “To my joy and sheer wonder, your son Buddy has turned out to be utterly and thrillingly nemophilous!”

Related reading
Argyrol : Charlotte russe : Musterole : Sal Hepatica : Stopette

comments: 2

The Arthurian said...

"I encountered nemophilous in 'Hapworth 16, 1924'"

Ah. I thought it might have been "Finding Nemo"

Michael Leddy said...

Ha. My first guess was that the word had something to do with love of being a nobody. (Nemo = no one.)