I want to say a strangely-lit grove, eerily-lit in an out-of-this-world manner. Does "fey-lit" convey that meaning?

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    I thought it meant "campy literature." – Joel Spolsky Dec 28 '10 at 4:02
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    @Joel Spolsky: The fey produce purple light. – Jon Purdy Dec 28 '10 at 8:20

It makes sense. The only incorrect interpretation that comes to mind is "lit by fey creatures themselves" rather than "lit in a manner suggestive of the fey". Context probably disambiguates it anyway.


You can say strangely lit and eerily lit. You can say it was a feyly lit glade (though I've never heard it said). Fey is an adjective and so is lit (in its use here). You'd need an adverb to modify lit. That said, fey-lit does sound eerie and strange.

  • yeah this was my issue, using an adjective is a verb. but you can say "red-lit" and it means lit by red light, no? – Claudiu Dec 28 '10 at 14:12
  • In "red-lit," red would have to be used as a noun, which it is, apart from being an adjective. (An example of this kind of compound adjective is "gender-neutral".) If you wished to use this logic here, you would have to say "feyness-lit", which just wouldn't sound the same. Creative writing must be something very hard to edit. – Tragicomic Dec 29 '10 at 8:30
  • On the other hand, you might say something like, "as shadows danced in the fey light," and still be grammatical. You'll probably know how you want to say it:-) – Tragicomic Dec 29 '10 at 16:42

You might also consider "fey-limned" for a slightly more subtle sort of glow; "fey-lit" could be thought to be fairly bright.

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    Beware the readers of the Baltimore Sun, who appear to find the word "limn" outrageous (articles.baltimoresun.com/2010-09-07/news/…). Besides, its sense of "illumination" has nothing to do with light and everything to do with manuscripts, so it's wrong in this context. It's got to be "lit", "lighted", or maybe "lightened". – Jon Purdy Dec 28 '10 at 8:19
  • Hm. Perhaps I've been using this word incorrectly; I tend to use it primarily in the sense of "to outline in clear detail", which is listed as a valid definition at m-w.com, although without the suggestion of actual illumination that I have always ascribed to it. ... I did see that Sun article a couple of days ago, though, and was quite amused by it. :-) – Hellion Dec 29 '10 at 1:28

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