Sunday 28 November 2021

Oh for a Latibule...

 Thanks to Maya Oppenheimer (via Facebook), I have learnt a new word today: 'latibulate', verb. Actually, my Shorter Oxford gives it in the form 'latibulize' (v. rare, 1802), meaning 'To retire into a hiding-place or retreat'. In parentheses it adds, as well it might, '(for the winter'). The root is Latin latibulum, a hiding-place (hence English 'latibule'), from latere, to hide or be hidden (as in 'latent'). 
  To find a hiding-place in which to sit out the winter is an idea with considerable appeal for those of us who are easily drained and depressed by cold weather. And this winter, with the madness raging in the wider world, hiding away and sitting it out seems an even more attractive notion than usual. But alas, latibulation must remain a fond dream: the world is indeed too much with us, late and soon...
  While investigating 'latibulate' online, I came across an amusing and useful word of more recent origin: 'testiculate', verb, meaning 'to gesticulate wildly while talking bollocks'. The master testiculator used to be Andrew Marr; now, I suppose, it is Robert Peston. Or, on a bad day, Boris Johnson. 
  And now I'm returning to my latibule... No, I'm not – I'm off to Lichfield again tomorrow for a few days in the bosom of the f. It will be cold. 


  1. Beautiful morning this morning, for November. Sky all one gray smear, chill getting in everywhere, last night's leftover snow lying in patches wet as washmops. Practically no one out and about, the hour comes and goes without even the sound of distant churchbells. But I'm up for my morning walkaround anyway.

    Not every November day is wintry, and I won't consider it really winter till the solstice. Then there are no walls it can't break through. I won't latibulate, but I will vary my itinerary. Evasive action. "Nay, an you get it, you shall get it by running."

  2. Thanks Baceseras – good to know someone likes it cold, grey and soggy. Good luck with the evasive action!