Word for Wednesday: Nelipot

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The summer months are upon us once again and one sight you’re sure to see is the very natural (but often smelly!) sight of someone who opts to parade around barefoot.

Luckily, thanks to the power of the Internet, you’ll be well prepared for these pedalian pedestrians. A rather delightful word has been circulating to describe someone who walks barefoot.

nelipot (n.)
‘One who walks barefoot.’

This word hasn’t been ‘officially’ cited in any credible dictionaries, but neither had many of the words that have crept into widespread usage recently. And the beauty of the English language is in its ability to change and adapt constantly.

There is, however, a plant named ‘Nelipous RafLentibulariaceae’ and the CRC Dictionary of World Plant Names files this entry for 'nelipous':

(Greek) nelipous
unshod, barefooted

That’s enough evidence for me! And who knows, if we all started using this wonderful little word we might just get it the ‘dictionary status’ it deserves. And while I won’t be converting to a nelipot any time soon, I’d love to see it reach popularity!

Hugh MacDermott

16 Jul 2014
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