13 Unusual Words About Nature That’ll Make You Want to Run Outside

13 Unusual Words About Nature That’ll Make You Want to Run Outside

No one ever has much trouble describing their kid’s latest tantrum, the terrible movie they watched last night or why we should all stop eating meat. If they did then Facebook would be dead and gone. No, the things we really struggle to wrap our vocabulary around are weird, intense things like feelings, experiences and all of the mind-blowing things that nature does, like spraying water from the tops of waves, creating smells in the earth after it rains and all the magic colors it paints on the world.

Read on for 13 words about nature that’ll make you want to run outside.

Depending on the leaf I’m going with reddy-orangey-brown but fueillemort sounds so much better.



Often used to refer to plants, some thriving in rain and some shunning rain for drier climes, omrophobous is a great word that comes from the Greek ‘ombros’ meaning ‘rain shower’.

Estivation is the simple act of ‘passing the summer’ but does have connotations of long, lazy days and warm, contented nights.



Another word more often found on the pages of plant biology journals than heard in bars, frondescence can be used to mark the period of time that a certain species opens its leaves to the sun but can also mean simply, foliage.

I see this word and I think cereal. Nothing to do with Swiss muesli, Alpenglow is a reddish glow that can be seen on the summits of mountains but is also used to refer to the specific glow of the Alps where the snowy heights reflect the sunlight in an unusual way at sunrise and sunset.

The sun isn’t just ‘the sun’ in winter, the touch of its warming glow is far more precious than that and should be given its proper name, apricity.

The opposite of estivation, hyemation means the passing of winter and comes from the Latin hiemāre, “to winter.”

Similar to the Turkish word gumusservi, a word meaning ‘moonlight shining on water’ and one the internet says has no equivalent, moonglade is a name for the line of moonlight reflected on water.

This is a wonderful word with stirring origins. Nothing to do with the utensil you use to stir your tea, spoondrift is derived from the old Scots word ‘spoon’ which meant ‘to run before the wind’ while drift may come from the Old Norse ‘drift’, like snowdrift.

Noctivagent can be used to describe people who go about that dastardly deeds at night but is more commonly used to refer to members of the animal kingdom who are awake during the night such as the spawn of hell, bats.

Meaning ‘bad land’, malpais refers to terrain that has formerly been the site of volcanic activity, like a lava stream. Not a great place to plant crops and definitely not a good place to build a house.

We love petrichor. A scientific word, petrichor is derived from the Greek word for stone, ‘petra’ and ‘ichor’, the name for the liquid that flows in the veins of the Greek gods. We like it even more now.

I have no idea how to pronounce this. Silent P? Another word derived from Greek, psithuros originally meant ‘whispering or slanderous’.




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