Adjectives relating to Bodies of Water

From Hull AWE
Jump to: navigation, search

The adjectives 'marine' and 'maritime', both of which mean 'of or relating to the sea', are of relatively frequent occurrence. (For more about them see Marine - maritime.) Most of the adjectives denoting a relationship with other bodies of water (e.g., lakes or rivers) are of much less frequent occurrence, and are most often found in the writings of earth and life scientists. Here are some of them:

  • 'Fluvial' (pronounced IPA: /'fluː vɪ əl/ and deriving from the Latin fluvius, river) and riverine (pronounced IPA: /'rɪ və ,raɪn/) both mean 'of or relating to a river'. 'Fluvial' is used of what is in a river or caused by a river - e.g., fluvial vegetation, a fluvial habitat, fluvial erosion, fluvial deposits - while 'riverine' is used of human river-related activities: a riverine houseboat is a houseboat on a river, and the riverine squadrons of the US Navy are groups of sailors specially trained for military operations on rivers. 'Riverine' also means 'found or living near a river, e.g., on a river bank': riverine tribes, e.g., are tribes living on the banks of a river. This use of 'riverine' is similar to one use of 'riparian' (see below).
  • 'Lacustrine' (from the Latin lacus, a lake, and pronounced with the stress on the second syllable, IPA: /lə 'kʌ straɪn/) means 'of or relating to lakes; living or growing in, or on the shores of, a lake'.
  • 'Paludal' (pronounced with the stress on either the first or the second syllable, IPA: /'pæ lju dəl/ or IPA: /pə 'ljuː dəl/) and 'palustrine' (pronounced with the stress on the second syllable, IPA: /pə 'lʌ straɪn/) both come from the Latin palus (genitive paludis}, a marsh, and mean 'of or relating to a marsh, bog, or swamp'.
  • 'Estuarine' (pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, IPA: /'ɛ stjʊ ə ,raɪn/ or IPA: /'ɛ stjʊ ə ,rɪn/) means 'of or relating to an estuary; living, growing, or found in an estuary'. An estuarine accent is an accent characteristic of estuary English, a variety of British English spoken by many native speakers in London and the south east of England, i.e., the area around the Thames estuary.
  • 'Riparian' (from the Latin ripa, a river bank, and pronounced IPA: /raɪ 'pɛə rɪ ən/) means 'of or relating to the banks of a river; found or living on the banks of a river'. This use of 'riparian' is similar to one use of 'riverine' (see above). However, 'riparian', unlike 'riverine', may be used in a legal context to mean 'of or relating to the rights of a person owning land on the banks of a river', e.g., their rights to fish in the river or to use its water to irrigate their land. 'Riparian' is also used in a legal context as a noun to refer to the owner of land on the banks of a river.
  • 'Littoral' (from the Latin litus (genitive litoris), shore, and pronounced IPA: /'lɪ tə rəl/ and therefore homophonous with the more commonly occurring adjective 'literal') means 'of or relating to the shore of a sea or a lake; living, growing, or found on the shores of a sea or lake or in shallow water near the shore'. 'Littoral' is thus used in a way that closely corresponds to one use of 'maritime'. 'Littoral' may also be used as a noun to mean 'an area or region close to the sea'.