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
*Check out the Word Nerd Index and my Word Nerd Pinterest Board for other superb words!
** 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!
2 thoughts on “Word Nerd: Subnivean”
Shoot, and i always thought subnivean referred to any cold cream inferior to Nivea.. But on the not-very-serious side i can imagine a subnivean idyll featuring a rustic A-frame, a lovely wood fireplace that always burned cozily and never needed to be stoked or required more split logs. The hides of moose, caribou, reindeer (not Rudolph though) and brown bear decorating the walls and insulating my subnivean home. The hides, I should mention, were already there when I bought the home. No animals were harmed in the making of this idyll. Buried under several miraculously non-itchy woven woolen blankets, hand carded and woven by Finnish peasant women on ancient looms, would be me and three 25 year old women– a black haired, a blonde, and a frisky redhead, each more fetching than the last, and we’d all be sipping 150 year old cognac with more cognacs, precious wines and the world’s finest spirits in my subnivean wine cellar. Now that I think about it, let’s add a statuesque, smoky, busty, curvaceous 29 yr. old auburn haired woman under the blankets, sizzling with pent-up, well you get the idea. And my strict, no-nonsense wife? Well, she’s visiting her sister in Canton, Ohio, and thinks I’m on a business trip in a no-cell-service area 40 miles from the nearest hamlet in the Canadian Northwest Territories.. Probably buried in in a subnivean tin roof shack with a pot bellied stove for cooking and heat.
Fantasy certainly can thrive in a subnivean setting, lol
Comments are closed.