This week we'll present words dealing with water, with a metaphorical sense.
slough (rhymes with "glue") - a depression filled with deep mud or mire; a stagnant swamp;
also a state of deep despair or moral degradation
In the allegory Pilgrim’s Progress by Bunyan, Christian has to cross a deep bog called the Slough of Despond.
limpid – clear, transparent; as, a limpid stream
also easily intelligible; clear: writes in a limpid style
also calm, serene
wellhead; wellspring – a source, spring, or fountain.
also a principal source; a fountainhead: a wellspring of ideas
Distinction: a wellspring is not usually just the beginning point but also source of continuing supply. (J.N. Hook, The Grand Panjandrum)
quagmire – land with a soft muddy surface.
also a difficult or precarious situation; a predicament.
The word in use:
antedeluvian – of the period before Noah's flood;
also very antiquated, so extremely old as seeming to belong to an earlier period; as, an antediluvian vehicle.
In total, the word's latin etymology means "before washing away", suggesting a need to clean things up. Antedeluvian "before Noah's flood" = ante- "before" + diluvium "a flood". Going further, diluvium for "flood" traces back to mean "to wash away" (dis- "away" + -luere, comb. form of lavere "to wash").
niveous – resembling snow; snowy; also snow-white
There's an odd schism in how the lexicographers handle this word.
AHD gives "resembling snow; snowy", but omits the specific definition as "white". So do the other on-line dictionaries: generally, they do not specifically note niveous as "white".
But the thesauri -- even the one at AHD's site -- consistently list niveous as a synonym for "white".