Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Tue Oct 1 02:47:42 UTC 2002

    German has a very similar word, albeit with a different meaning:
KOKOLORES, KOKOLORUS, masc. (no plural): (a) rubbish, nonsense,
twaddle, (b) palaver, fuss; e.g. "mach doch nicht solchen Kokolores
don't make such a fuss.
(c) = German "Kram", in: den ganzen Kokolores/all den Kokolores
einpacken to pack in the whole caboodle/shebang.

     Might the U.S./British term denoting "screens made of perforated
plastic or wood that are placed in front of the luminaire" have
derived from the German word? Perhaps (and yes, yes, I know this is
speculating) a German referred to a pile of the screens as Kokolores,
intending the equivalent of "Kram" (stuff, junk, things), which was
then interpreted by a non-German speaker as a technical term for
these screens.

Gerald Cohen

>At 10:07 AM +0100 9/30/02, Michael Quinion wrote:
>While looking into the film and stage lighting term 'gobo' for kinds
>of screen used to generate patterns of light and shadow on the set, I
>came across "cucoloris" (variously spelt) as a common term for some
>sorts - screens made of perforated plastic or wood that are placed in
>front of the luminaire. The word is in no dictionary that I've been
>able to trace, nor is there any indication of its origin. One
>possibility might be the classical Latin "cucullus" for a hood or
>cowl, which it is just possible some early photographer might have
>borrowed. Does anybody have any evidence at all for this word that
>might throw light (ahem) on where it comes from?
>Michael Quinion
>Editor, World Wide Words
>E-mail: <TheEditor at>
>Web: <>

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