By Dr. Birbal Jha

Delhi, 31/07/2023: Let’s enrich our word power, by learning the derivatives of a word. Many words are derived from a root with the use of prefixes and suffixes. A prefix is added to the beginning of a root or a word whereas a suffix is affixed to the end of the stem of a word. Thus, derivatives are formed. At times, two words (for example, candlelight, daylight, earthlight, idiot-light, headlight, limelight, lovelight, moonlight, searchlight, etc) are combined to make new words. Such a formation of words plays a vital role in improving our vocabulary and expressions of various ideas and thoughts whatsoever.

Let’s have a quick look at the word ‘light’ which is something that makes vision possible. It means light gives us sight to see. The use of light is not limited to the facilitator of visibility only. It is more than that. It has a lot of figurative usage. You may either delight in reading this piece, or alight from the bus of this learning journey. This is a case in point.

Can you imagine being without light? If not, let’s get enlightened on its grammatical usage and linguistic value. The word ‘light’ can be used as a noun, a verb, an adjective or an adverb.

For example, we get natural light (n) from the sun whereas for an artificial one, we use an electric light, oil lamp, lantern or something else, to our delight and comfort of life. Hence, we light (v) a house with electricity when it is unlit/ unlighted. As required, we turn the light on or off. Further, we light a fire when cooking something, using a lighter or a matchbox. Those in the habit of smoking usually carry a lighter to light a ciggy, though they should avoid doing such a thing.

Let’s put it in a good light. We should remain careful to eat light and go out for our daily constitutional to be lightweight. In this regard, a light (adj) dinner is more advisable than a heavy breakfast. However, I don’t subscribe to the views of those thinking that they should be as light as a feather.

Mindfully, I always eat light, wear light and travel light (adv). In addition to them, I trip the light fantastic to celebrate an occasion whether it is a festival of lights or colours. However, ‘lights, camera, action’ is a cliché in the cine parlance.

An educated talk offers me the inner light which gives me sight to understand what is right and what is wrong, and what to do and what not to do. Therefore, I never take anyone or anything lightly (adv). I don’t light into others either. I mean to say that I don’t attack others either verbally or physically. I go light on others. In other words, I treat them, delicately, gently or leniently. Don’t take it lightly. Such was a pet phrase of my teacher, who was a leading light in English training.

“Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light”, my teacher said while enlightening me on the subject. Let’s have a look at an enlightening as well as entertaining proverb, ‘A light purse makes a heavy heart’, which means: not having enough money can cause one to suffer a lot of stress, worry, and unhappiness. This is what my teacher used to cite while casting light on the use of light and how one could achieve enlightenment and wisdom. Moreover, he used to say that ‘many hands make the light work’. However, work shirkers are said to be light on their efforts but heavy on their words. Moreover, some try to steal the limelight, say; they draw the focus of attention to themselves at the expense of others.

There are a good number of idioms and phrases with the word light. You may have been in a difficulty for long but then remember that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. However, with your good work coming to light, you will be in the spotlight. Thus, your eyes will light up. Let’s look up such words and phrases in a standard dictionary. In the light of a brief account of the light family above, we can sum up that word formation is central to the vocabulary-building process. I stand corrected and enlightened. Thank you so much for enlightening me. I express my gratitude to my teacher for lighting a fire under me with respect vocabulary enrichment.

Words and Phrases Containing Light

1. A light at the end of the tunnel

2. A light bulb goes off/on (in someone’s head)

3. Alight

4. Artificial light

5. As light as a feather

6. Backlight:

7. Bengal light

8. Black light

9. Bring to light

10. Candlelight

11. Cast/shed/throw light on

12. Come to light

13. Compact fluorescent light

14. Daylight

15. Delight

16. Delighted

17. Delightedly

18. Delightful

19. Delightfully

20. Delightfulness

21. Delightsome

22. Earthlight

23. Eat light

24. Enlighten: Can you please enlighten me on the subject?

25. Enlightened.

26. Enlightener

27. Enlightening

28. Enlightenment

29. Fanlight

30. Firelight

31. First light

32. Flashlight

33. Floodlight

34. Fog light

35. Footlight

36. Gaslight

37. Go light on

38. Green light

39. Half-light

40. Headlight

41. Hide one’s light under a bushel

42. Highlight

43. Highlighted

44. Highlighter

45. Highlighting

46. Hit the light

47. Houselight

48. Idiot light

49. In a bad light

50. In a different light

51. In a good light

52. In an unfavorable light

53. In light of/ In the light of

54. In someone’s light

55. In the best light

56. In the cold light of day

57. Incandescent light bulb

58. Inner light

59. Jump the light

60. Key light

61. Klieg light

62. Lamplight

63. Leading light

64. Light a fire under (someone)

65. Light adaptation

66. Light air

67. Light bread

68. Light breeze

69. Light bulb

70. Light chain

71. Light curve

72. Light dawns

73. Light guide

74. Light heart

75. Light heavyweight

76. Light housekeeping

77. Light industry

78. Light into

79. Light meter

80. Light on one’s feet

81. Light on/upon

82. Light opera

83. Light out

84. Light pen

85. Light pipe

86. Light pollution

87. Light quantum

88. Light reaction

89. Light reading

90. Light show

91. Light skinned

92. Light sleeper

93. Light snow

94. Light speed

95. Light table

96. Light the way

97. Light therapy

98. Light trap

99. Light up

100. Light up (something)

101. Light water

102. Lighted

103. Light-emitting diode

104. Lighten

105. Lightened

106. Lightener

107. Lightening

108. Lighter

109. Lightering

110. Lightfast

111. Light-fingered

112. Light-foot/ Light-footed

113. Light-handed

114. Lightheaded/ Light-headed

115. Lightheadedness

116. Lighthearted

117. Lightheartedly

118. Lightheartedness

119. Lighthouse

120. Lighting

121. Lightless

122. Lightly

123. Lightman

124. Light-minded

125. Lightness

126. Lightning

127. Lightning bug : Firefly

128. Light-of-love /Light-o’-love

129. Lightproof

130. Light-rail

131. Lightroom

132. Lightship

133. Lightsome

134. Lightweight

135. Lightwood

136. Light-year

137. Light-years ahead

138. Light-years away

139. Limelight

140. Lovelight

141. Lowlight

142. Make light of

143. Make short/quick/light work of

144. Many hands make light work

145. Moonlight

146. More heat than light

147. Natural light

148. Nightlight/ Night-light

149. Out like a light

150. Parking light

151. Penlight

152. Pilot light

153. Red light

154. Relight

155. Relighting

156. Running light

157. Safelight

158. Searchlight

159. See the light

160. See the light of day

161. Set light to

162. Sidelight

163. Skylight

164. Slight

165. Slighted

166. Slighter

167. Slightest

168. Slighting

169. Slightingly

170. Slightly

171. Slightness

172. Sound-and-light show

173. Spaceflight

174. Speed of light

175. Spotlight

176. St. Elmo’s light

177. Starlight

178. Stoplight

179. Streetlight

180. Strobe light

181. Sunlight

182. Superlight

183. Sweetness and light

184. Taillight

185. The light of someone’s life

186. Topflight

187. Torchlight

188. Traffic light

189. Travel light

190. Trick of the light

191. Trip the light fantastic

192. Twilight

193. Ultralight

194. Unenlightened

195. Unlighted

196. Unlit

197. Very light

198. Vigil light

199. Wax light

200. Zodiacal light

By Sujata