I'm writing a novel about a woman who hides files because she fears that other people may access information she wants to keep secret.

Mary Lou doesn't follow a precise method for hiding files in hard-disks, but she does so with excessive zeal.

So, as ever, I would like to know whether there is an adjective to describe Mary Lou.

After a bit of searching I found that bibliotaph means 'one that hides away or hoards books', but, alas, it seems that one can properly uses this word only in reference to books, not files.

So, I wonder, what do you call someone who hides away files?

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    I edited out a few grammar/style shortcomings, but I'm not sure exactly what you mean to imply by hoards files. People normally hide things because they don't want others to find them, but hoarding is more about building up a [usually, excessive] stockpile of something. Hoarding isn't necessarily a secretive activity. It's just that because the hoard usually contains more than the hoarder actually needs, and often contains something other people need too, it's likely to be done secretively to avoid opprobrium, jealousy, demands to share, etc. Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 16:59
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    A data-hoarder? Data-deceptionist? A crypto-filo-facist?
    – bib
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 20:41

3 Answers 3


Consider that fine word obscurantist (“A practitioner of obscurantism; an obscurant”), where obscurantism has a sense “being deliberately obscure or vague”, and obscurant as an adjective means “Acting or tending to confound, obfuscate, or obscure”, or as a noun, “One who acts to confound or obfuscate; an obscurantist” or “A person who seeks to prevent or hinder enquiry and the advancement of knowledge or wisdom; an agent of endarkenment”. The latter phrase also suggest the term endarkener.

Note, by the way, that “security through obscurity” (a general term for keeping things secret by hiding them) often is denigrated as a security policy.


You mean Mary Lou is a paranoid pack-rat, or a magpie even?


  • a person who accumulates things and hides them away for future use.

  • One who compulsively collects or hoards small objects.


A chipmunk, they are notorious for hiding things and not always capable even to find them back. But, the things are well hidden! A squirrel may work as well, you know, "squirreling things away"?

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