Subnivean means occurring underneath a layer of snow. Subnivean is derived from the prefix sub- and the Latin base niveus or niveous (of snow).
Subnivean is a play on last week’s Word Nerd niveous, only it means existing, living or carried out underneath snow. Subnivean is also a delightful descriptive word and could be used any number of ways. “The subnivean cavern glittered as the light from the torch shone upon the icy walls.” or “during the winter months the houses became subnivean dwellings.”.
A subnivean cottage in a subnivean wood…
Subnivean is a rather fun word and, yes, a bit of an easy one after last week. What can I say, I’m very slowly easing back into regular posting, lol. Subnivean is also a very appropriate winter word, though it has been several years since there has been any significant snow where I live. Still, one can dream of an ideal subnivean winterscape – one where the house is cozily buried, the larder is well-stocked, the fireplace blazing, plenty of books to read while curled underneath a puddle of blankets, a cup something warm nearby…sigh. Do you have a subnivean ideal of your own?
Namaste ~ Ella
** If there’s a word you’d like to see added to the Word Nerd roster, please feel free to contact me or suggest it in the comments – I enjoy feedback and recommendations!