Word Smith: Caliginous
The word caliginous is a strange one. It appeared in a story about a young girl who was in love with the insects in her back yard. Not commonly used, caliginous seems more likely to show up in some Agatha Christy novel or Sherlock Holmes mystery set in the bogs of England. The word means being without light or without much light:
- Example: “Arriving to the entrance without a flashlight, there was no way for the boys to tell what kind of creatures lurked in the caliginous cave ahead.”
Synonyms for caliginous include black, dark, dim, dusky, gloomy, lightless, murky, obscured, pitch-black, pitch-dark, rayless, somber, stygian, tenebrific, tenebrous, unlit, and many more in the nighttime horror genre.
I also came across a list of words in the Merriam-Webster dictionary that are “Related to caliginous,” and the list proved an even more sinister collection: crepuscular, twilit, moonless, starless, sunless, cloudy, dull, lackluster, shadowlike, shady, gray, leaden, pale, beclouded, foggy, fuliginous, misty, smoggy, soupy. Or in general the perfect spot for a murder with no witnesses. The words crepuscular and fuliginous are adjectives that may take some further research, as they are equally mysterious and strange.