Obscurities: Nyctophilia

English is an amazing language, full of words even most English speakers have never heard of.  I love finding obscure words – there are websites full of them.  I’m going to do my part in saving them from extinction by using them as often as possible… because sometimes, it’s just fun to confuse people!

Nyctophilia is such a rare word form that not even Wiktionary has an entry on it yet (though they do have “nyctophile”).  It’s close to my heart, as I am a pure (can I make up my own word, please?) nyctophilite.  I’d do everything in the dark if I could.  I do fitness at night when the rest of the world has gone to bed, and I usually go to bed after the sun has risen; our exchange student used to call me a half-vampire.  I fold clothes, clean house, and walk around our house in complete darkness, and I’m even teaching myself to crochet without looking so that I can do that in the dark, too.  There’s just something about darkness that I find restful, and peaceful.  My favourite hours are in the night, and I avoid strong light as I have sensitive eyes.  I’d be perfectly happy to live in the arctic circle for the winter months, except for the cold.

Are you a fellow nyctophilite?  Or do you have nyctophobia?

Obscure 8


Filed under Etymology, Grammar, Obscurities, Writing Prompt

11 responses to “Obscurities: Nyctophilia

  1. I’m a morning person through and through, so I love light. That’s why I enjoyed this post with a different view. Tonight I plan to step outside to look at stars, and I’ll think of you loving darkness.

  2. I do find being outdoors at night very soothing, so perhaps I am a nyctophile. Thanks for introducing me to the word.

  3. My husband and I regularly watch stars together – if we have time and good weather, we’ll set up the telescope. At the moment, the Perseids meteor showers are visible; on a good night with clear skies and time, we’ve spotted several, plus dozens of satellites, and even the ISS when it’s in our night sky trajectory. So take your time, and enjoy the view! 🙂

  4. You’re welcome! Take a look up when you’re out at night – right now, the Perseids meteors might be visible where you live.

  5. I’ve been wanting to see the meteor showers, but there has been fog every time I’ve looked. We have lots of fog and mist in the mountains.

  6. I too like darkness and often sit up in my dark room to enjoy the stillness of the dark. It is magical. I avoid sun and prefer shade. You will never find me on a sunlit beach which I find depressing. I do like the sound of a pounding surf.

  7. I agree! I find a sunny beach boring, except for beach combing. 🙂

  8. Just curious: Do you live on the southern flank or northern flank of your mountain range? In other words, which is windward on your range?

  9. We’re in a valley at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina. Weather tends to move from West to East, so our wind comes from the West. We are cooler than East Tennessee, just across the mountains. I thought of you when I stepped outside to look for meteors last night. I didn’t see any, but the stars were glorious. We see so many more than we did on Long Island in New York. What is your terrain like?

  10. We live in the lowlands near Zürich; we can see part of the Alps on a good day, and we have a local mountain range; our weather tends to come over that range. Our night sky is fairly clear of light pollution because we have a forest between us and city lights.

  11. Sounds wonderful. We have some light pollution from Asheville, but it’s nothing compared to Long island.

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