Michael Quinion TheEditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Mon Sep 30 09:07:35 UTC 2002

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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