Today I have a word with a not-so-interesting etymology, but with great potential to become the new go-to slam for ethically-challenged individuals. What do you think of…
No, I won’t make you grab your dictionary for this rather obscure word. It means “living in mud.” It’s strongly related to the word “limicoline,” which means essentially the same thing but has come to be a technical term referring to shore birds such as plovers and sandpipers. The word comes from your friendly neighborhood classification team and as such, it’s a straight-up Latin compound. Limus means “slime” and -cola means “inhabitant.”
Where I think language has fallen down is in the use of the non-specific adjective. Why is it that we don’t refer to morally deficient villains as “limicolous low-lifes”? I think that’s a linguistic trend waiting, don’t you?