Inside the English Maze

Credit: Unused

Late yesterday afternoon, while strolling through the wide avenues of the Web, I happened into a new English word I had never had the pleasure of knowing.  At first I thought it was Latin, or something like that.  The word was used by an exquisite blogger from the Philippines who has a knack for weaving emotional words.

The name of the new kid on the block is “nefelibata” borrowed from a foreign language.  The definition of this obscure word of the English language is:  “A cloud walker; One who lives in the cloud of their own imagination or dreams, or one who does not abide by the precepts of society, literature, or art; An unconventional, unorthodox person.”  The word is pronounced ne-fe-LE-ba-ta.

Nefelibata is a Portuguese word derived from “nephele” (cloud) and “batha” (a place where you can walk), thus the definition of one who walks or lives in the clouds.  I have several friends who match this definition of nefelibata.

According to Akshay Dashore

It actually sounds like a synonym for maverick, but I think one would take umbrage if you called them a maverick. This word actually minces the severity and intensity veiled in the word maverick and thus can be used as a euphemism for it. Besides maverick, it can also be used in lieu of all the other words that insinuate ‘unorthodox’ behavior. There is also an inconspicuous beauty hidden in the word which gets unfurled when you enunciate it.

Nefelibata can have a positive as well as a negative connotation.

A creative person, who remains embroiled in his/her imaginations, transcending all the conventions and laws, could be called as a nefelibata. But also, an intractable person who stays involved in insignificant things, too, could be called as a nefelibata. Its usage completely depends upon the activity in which the person is involved.

a.  “I was trying to teach him the basics, but he, being a nefelibata, didn’t give heed to my words.”

b.  “We all knew that nefelibata would do something big in his life, and here he is, juggling multiple businesses.”

I’m sure you can come up with other uses for this uncommon English word.  If you by any chance encounter this word in your linguistics sojourns, you already know what it means.

When I recalled my recent blog post about the use of the number of spaces at the end of a sentence, and my rebellious attitude of using two spaces instead of one—contradicting the English experts—; I guess that would place me in the category of a nefelibata.

As you can see, English is a weird language with many tricks, twists and turns.  Good Day.

Source:  Unused Words – Discover a new word everyday!

6 thoughts on “Inside the English Maze”

  1. Hello Eagle-Eyed Editor:

    English never ceases to amaze me. I’m learning something new every single day, even though I’ve been exploring the language since I was six. There’s still so much to learn.



  2. Oh Omar, it’s been a while…I know. Thank you for remembering me. I just got online after being offline since Sunday night. Let me get back to you as soon as I finish my errands here. Oh, I’ve missed you dearly.

  3. Morning Marj:

    I have never forgotten you. I read each and every one of your emotional blog posts. My heart goes out for all those who are suffering in your country due to the ferocious natural event which recently took place. Our prayers are with your people.

    God Bless,


    1. I picked up the word “nefelibata” from an FB acquaintance and I thought, “Wow, I wanted to be just like one.” 🙂

      What I’ve always appreciated between us as blog pals is our mutual love for the English language. Now it seems I have a lot of catching up to do reading your posts with delight this weekend. Oh, I might release a humorous blog post any day now. It’s like a pure joke piece that may be offending to men. Please don’t read it. I had been thinking of one particular male blogger who did me wrong when I wrote it. 🙂

      The victims of the deadly typhoon were the residents of another huge island in the Philippines. My heart bleeds for them, too. Thank you for your prayers.

      Thank you, too, for using the word exquisite in describing me as a blogger. You’ve always been a darling, Omar.

  4. Hi Marj:

    Even though I’ve been studying English since I was six, I have a lot of terrain to cover. Learning the ropes of this weird and odd language requires determination and persistence. But I’m a patience person and have developed a sort of love-hate relationship with the language. Can’t take my eyes from this foreign language. As you probably know, my native language is Spanish.

    I used the word “exquisite” on purpose. I think that you are a very delicate and highly emotional writer. That’s why I follow your work so closely.

    God Bless,


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