Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Tina asked about the combining form –scape, as in landscape. The original use, in fact, was the word landscape; other words are engaged in back-formation. It came from a Dutch word and was first introduced by artists. The –scape segment means a condition that can be viewed. The land- segment signifies natural inland scenery.

Some of the –scape words are elegant; others are almost humorous.

  • airscape: a view or photograph taken from the air
  • cityscape: city scenery
  • cloudscape: a scene composed of clouds
  • cowscape : a painting of a rural scene which includes cows [my personal favorite]
  • dreamscape: a dream-like picture or a dream-world
  • hardscape: the man-made features of landscape architecture, such as paths, structures, walls, etc.
  • icescape: a picture of ice scenery
  • inscape: Gerard Manley Hopkins' word for the uniqueness of an observed object, scene, event, etc.
  • junglescape: a painting whose subject or background is a jungle
  • lovescape: view, depiction, or evocation of love
  • lunarscape: a picture or view of the moon's surface
  • manscape: a scene or environment characterized by human activity
  • mediascape: communications media as a collective whole
  • mindscape: mental landscape or inner vision.
  • moodscape: a depiction or evocation of complex moods or feelings
  • mountainscape: a picturesque view of a mountainous area
  • mudscape: a landscape composed largely or entirely of mud
  • nightscape: an artistic representation of a scene at night
  • noonscape: a description of a landscape at noon
  • offscape: the distant part of a view or prospect--the background
  • outscape: the outward appearance of a region
  • playscape: a children's play area incorporating existing landscape features
  • poemscape: a poem or text that portrays a landscape
  • prisonscape: a view or picture dominated by a prison or prisons
  • riverscape: a picturesque view or prospect of a river
  • roadscape: a picture or other artistic interpretation of a road
  • rockscape: a stretch or tract of rocky land
  • roofscape: a scene or panorama of roofs
  • seascape: a picture of the sea, a sea-piece; sea-pieces collectively....
  • skyscape: in painting, etc., a representation of part of the sky
  • slumscape: slum scenery
  • snowscape: a snow scene
  • soundscape: a musical composition consisting of a texture of sounds
  • spacescape: a view or prospect of outer space
  • starscape: a view or prospect of a sky filled with stars
  • streetscape: a view or prospect provided by a city street or streets....
  • tablescape: a decorative arrangement of ornaments or other objects on a tabletop
  • townscape: a picture or view of a town
  • treescape: a landscape or scene consisting of or abounding in trees
  • waterscape: a picture or a piece of scenery consisting of water
  • wirescape: scenery or a landscape dominated by overhead wires and pylons
  • xeriscape: landscape that minimizes the need for irrigation

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

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