What It Sounds Like ( (lĭm′uh-sēn′) 

If you haven't ever seen this word, go ahead, take a guess at what it means. What does its sound and shape suggest to you?  (Don't cheat by checking the definition below!) My hunch? I'm imagining that limacine is an adjective that describes something curvy and sensuous; anything with lovely flowing lines, like the staircase (which I now definitely want!) pictured below:

flowing stairs

What It Actually Means

Ye gads! My guess, based on falling in love with the sound of this word, was pretty far off the mark. Because limacine,  it seems, refers to all things SLUG! Including SLIME! Eeeeww! So much for new artillery for poems about the sinuous silhouettes of clouds and trees, huh? *sighs deeply, and points to the derivation discussion below*

Where It Comes From

The etymology of this word goes back to the New Latin or scholarly term, limax, which in turn comes from old Latin, limux, meaning mud. Figures. Still, it might come in handy when you need to lay it on thick…or slick:

"Julia gives a completely unthinking facade of a performance, which he coats with a layer of limacine charm indistinguishable from castor oil."

John Simon, "Pieces of '8½'," New YorkMay 24, 1982 

Now Go Out There And USE it!

© Louise Hawes 2022