Wednesday, February 3, 2010

COLUBRINE, C-O-L-U-B-R-I-N-E, COLUBRINE [Our Terms]


colubrine • \KAHL-yuh-bryne\ • adjective

*1 : of, relating to, or resembling a snake
2 : of or relating to a large cosmopolitan family (Colubridae) of chiefly nonvenomous snakes

Example Sentence:
"By the time the music starts throbbing at 9, there will undoubtedly be a colubrine line slithering down Mass. Ave." (Christopher Muther, The Boston Globe, March 2002)

Did you know?
"Colubrine" may be less common than other animal words, such as "canine," "feline," and "bovine," but it has been around for a good long while. Ultimately derived from the Latin "colubra" ("snake"), it slithered into the English language in the 16th century. ("Cobra," by the way, comes from the same Latin word, but entered English through Portuguese.) Some other words for "snakelike" are "serpentine" (a more common alternative) and "ophidian" (from the Greek word for snake: "ophis").

Harry Potter's parseltongue ability allows him to understand the more colubrine members of the animal kingdom.

Your turn! Use colubrine in a sentence in the comments section to flex your new vocab prowess.

1 comment:

Dave said...

One of my characters is rather colubrine, in that he likes to possess snakes.