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I'm looking for the nominalization of the word 'recondite,' which I want to use when referring to another noun object that is recondite. I'm aware of the noun 'reconditeness,' but that refers to the quality of being recondite - I want to be able to talk about an object which has the quality of reconditeness.

So, for example, if I have a group of three recondite objects, I could say "I have three [word I'm seeking]." This would be similar to referring to a group of objects which are 'arcane' as 'arcana.'

My initial thought is 'reconditia,' but I'm not confident enough in that, and if there is already a coined term for this, I'd prefer to use it.

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  • I have three recondite objects. It's either an adjective you are after or a noun. There are no indicia here.
    – Lambie
    Jan 3, 2020 at 17:25
  • Abstureness still refers to the quality of being abstruse - I want a word that refers to objects which have that quality, rather than the quality itself. I will update my question.
    – Travis
    Jan 3, 2020 at 17:27
  • Would you mind giving us subject matter? Computing or philosophy or what??
    – Lambie
    Jan 3, 2020 at 17:30
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    As I said, not every adjective that has a noun will give you a noun thing associated with it. I get it. Your trying for an unusual word for hidden objects. You might have just said that. Try Latin: secretum, if you can bear it.
    – Lambie
    Jan 3, 2020 at 17:53
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    @JohnLawler A wizard's horde of magical treasures and knowledge, stolen away and stashed into a private extra-dimensional realm could be referred to as recondite. That is the exact context for my request. Unfortunately, while arcana is sufficiently unusual for everyday conversation, it's pretty common in the fantasy realm. I enjoy the word 'recondite,' so I was looking for an analog to arcana with recondite as the root. Secretum, as Lambie suggests may well work, or may be a good tangent to begin a new search. Thank you both for your input. :)
    – Travis
    Jan 3, 2020 at 18:09

1 Answer 1

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The simple answer to your question is that there is no such word in current use (or at least in any dictionary I have checked.

you can always coin a word and, in doing so, there are potential rules about how to do it. For example, the word arcane is an English version of the Latin first declension adjective arcanus, of which the neuter plural is arcana. In Latin, it was (is, if you are in the Vatican City) normal to use a neuter plural of an adjective as the abstract noun. Thus arcana (literally arcane things is used as a virtual abstract noun.

The English adjective recondite is derived from the Latin verb recondo, meaning I hide, whose past passive participle (hidden or secret) is reconditus. So, if an ancient Roman writer had wanted a related word to refer to hidden things he would use recondita.

Your stab at a word is not bad. The only reason it is wrong is that the -ia ending is actually a third declension rather than a first declension ending. So the adjective memorabilis (from the adjective memor, meaning the quality of remembering), with the ending -abilis becomes capable of being remembered or memorable. And so we derive the English word memorabilia.

What you have to consider is whether, if you coin this word, your readers, or most of them, will understand it. Well, probably a majority of people reading a piece with a word like that in it will know the word recondite and make the short jump from there to recondita. But do you want to bring your reader up short in mid sentence in this way, or would it be better to find a more conventional way around it? This is an open question. If you decide to go ahead, however, there is a convention (call it good manners) to place a neologism in what are sometimes called 'scare quotes' to acknowledge that you are going outside standard English vocabulary.

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  • This is basically perfect. My audience will likely have a difficult time with the word, but that is the desired effect for the character.
    – Travis
    Jan 3, 2020 at 20:33

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