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Just as aquatic is to water and aerial is to air, what is an equivalent word for sand (or earth, I suppose)?

For context, I’m trying to describe the locomotion of worms within desert sand (as opposed to its surface). Ergo, terrestrial isn’t particularly suitable and neither is earthy.

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Studying arenicolites? –  tchrist Dec 10 '12 at 13:47
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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Well, fancy words for ‘sandy’ are arenarious and arenaceous, with the second apparently preferred. Perhaps one of those two will do.

You can also use arenaceo- as a combining form. Darwin did, when he wrote of arenaceo-calcareous loam.


Edit

Oh wait, there is one for just what you want here. From the OED:

arenicolous /-ələs/, a.

Etymology: f. as prec. + -ous.

Inhabiting sand.

  • 1851-9 Owen in Man. Sc. Enq. 381 ― Arenicolous mollusks.

The preceding entry referenced above is:

arenicolite /ærɪˈnɪkəlaɪt/.

Etymology: f. mod.L. arēnicol-a sand-worm, lob-worm (f. arēna sand + ‑cola inhabiting) + ‑ite.

A worm-hole made originally in sand, and preserved in a sandstone rock.

1864 in Webster.

Once you remember that Latin had arena for sand (as do Spanish, Italian, Catalan, Portuguese, and various others), the rest is easy: just look for words that start with arena- or areni-, of which we have a fair number. As another example, arenosity is sandiness.

I also looked for things related to Latin sabulum for gravel, modern French sable for sand, but it was not productive, as all our English uses of sable are related to the furry critter, to black, or to heraldry. We have no sabl- words related to sand.

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Muchas gracias. That is simply perfect. Fancy words++ –  coleopterist Dec 10 '12 at 13:56
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