Printable Version
Pronunciation: in-vi-ês, in-vi-ês Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Without paths or roads, impassable, inaccessible.

Notes: Invious land is nothing to be envious of unless you are looking for wildlife. The pronunciations of these two words are very close, so remember the difference the initial letters make. This becomes a real problem in places like New Zealand and the US South, where E is pronounced [i] before [n] and [m] (nasal consonants). In New Zealand this shift occurs everywhere, so that [bid] could be bid or bed. One solution would be to use the second pronunciation.

In Play: For those of us who love the outdoors, this word specifies one of our reasons for loving it: "Our family enjoys hiking the invious areas of the Colorado Rockies." On a plane even higher than the Rockies, we can say things like, "Dermott is a valuable member of our team because he isn't afraid of driving his thinking into invious territories," giving out-of-the-box a well-deserved rest.

Word History: This Good Word comprises Latin in- "not" + via "way, road" + an adjective suffix. It comes from the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) word wegh-/wogh- "to go, haul", which also gave Sanskrit vah-mi "bring, lead", German Weg "way" and Wagen "wagon, car", and English way and wagon. That is also it there in Latin vehiculum "carriage", derived from veh-ere "carry, haul", and borrowed into English as vehicle. (Our old South African friend Chris Stewart shared this favorite of his some time ago.)

Dr. Goodword,

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