‘Lockdown’ sounds wretchedly penal and miserably incarcerate, so I was delighted to meet this alternative. How much more pleasant to ‘latibulate’, as defined by Mr. Cockeram in his 1623 English Dictionary as ‘privily to hide ones selfe in a corner’, which amounts to the same thing.

The place in which to do this, Cockeram’s cosy sounding ‘denne or lurking place’ is, naturally, a ‘latibule’. You will be in good company, as a Mr. Shaw’s General Zoology of 1802 tells us that ‘When kept in gardens in Italy and Germany, it [the Tortoise] is observed to latibulize in October, and to reappear in April.’  Swap the order of the months and we should be grand.

This lovely word, like so many, stems from Latin, where a hiding place is a latibulum.  You may even like to tell people that you are withdrawing to your latibulum and they should take care not to bother you.

Happy latibulation!

Source: Oxford English Dictionary online, a lexical heaven in which to roam from the comfort of your latibule.

1 Comment

  1. Milton Dawes

    I enjoyed the creativity. But have to mention an important difference: We latibulate as it suits us. We are not ordered or told to.


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