cataphile

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From French cataphile

Noun[edit]

cataphile (plural cataphiles)

  1. A type of urban explorer who illegally visits the ancient "catacombs" (actually ancient quarries linked by tunnels) beneath Paris.
    • 1998: Murray Battle, Paris Underground from Infiltration 9, read on Infiltration's website at [1] on 21 June 2006 - I've just spent ten hours under Paris with a bunch of crazy cataphiles, drug dealers and extreme tourists.
    • 2002: Christopher Ketcham, Spelunking the empire of death in Salon read on Salon Media Group's website at [2] on 21 June 2006 - Like all cataphiles, he goes by his cave-handle, his catanym: Lezard Peint translates as "the Painted Lizard".
    • 2004: Joelle Diderich, Police Play Cat & Mouse With New French Underground in 13 Oct 04 issue of The Scotsman, read at [3] on 21 Jun 2006 - Skilled cataphiles elude police by ducking into corridors or moving in the dark.
    • 2005, David L. Pike, Subterranean Cities: The World Beneath Paris and London, 1800-1945 p. 177 - Caption of a picture on page 176 of a French cartoon: "...a Prussian zombie, and a Polish lamia, the Countess Norodna, in the Left Bank carrières (top and bottom frame right). The artist is a former cataphile, and the series is replete with subterranean history and folklore. The dialogue..."
  2. (by extension) Any individual who explores subterranean quarries, mines, or catacombs.

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