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The Caver's Multi-Lingual Dictionary


An International joint effort of the Caver's Dictionary

Working Group of the UIS Informatics Commission.


27-Aug-1998 Edition 3



This is the UIS on-line multi-lingual dictionary of caving and speleological terms. It is a living dictionary that is constantly being added to and tuned as an International joint effort among cavers. Everyone is invited to participate - this could range from just correcting a mis-spelling to contributing a whole new language.


To get the ball rolling with a solid starting point, the Chairman's existing hardcopy publication, The Caver's Living Dictionary ( Kósa 1995/6), was updated and used for the initial web pages. To make it easier to maintain, all the words have been stored in a database which automatically generates the updated web pages.


Of course, many other workers have contributed significantly in this field - see the list of references and the web links below. We are hoping that some of these

other authors will be able to join in and make this a truly International on-line joint effort, and so rapidly increase its usefulness to all of us.


While there will always be a place for hardcopy versions, some of the advantages of this on-line version are:

    readily available to all cybercavers around the world.

    always up-to-date, without the effort and expense associated with the

    reprinting of a paper edition.

    can be downloaded for off-line searching for those not on the Internet.

    rapid turnaround for additions and corrections.

    an opportunity for all interested cavers around the world to participate in

    its construction.

    negligible publication costs.

    on-line text searching means that alphabetically sorted versions for each

    language do not have to be produced - one version is sufficient, regardless

    of how many languages are included.


Eventually it is planned to add further languages, and to link the words to definitions in their respective language, thus making it a real dictionary.

[ The Dictionary ] [ Co-ordination ] [ Suggestions ] [ References ] [ Links ] [

Acknowledgements ]






The work of the Dictionary is being co-ordinated by Dr. Attila KÓSA, Chairman of the Caver's Dictionary Working Group of the Informatics Commission of the International Union of Speleology.


Please get in touch if you would like to join the Working Group, or just help with the project.


Dr. Attila KÓSA

Tel: +36 (1) 364-3676 (home).

Email: (Please do not send more than a single page, or any attached files, to this email address without prior agreement.)


Additions and Corrections


If you can supply new words or corrections, or have other suggestions for improvements, please don't hesitate to email the details. All contributors will be acknowledged below.




    ASHBROOK, B., GLIGAN, M. (1993)

    An English-Romanian Caver's Dictionary. Pack Rat Scat No. 52, Summer, 1993.

    The Greater Allentown Grotto, PA, USA.

    BALÁZS, D. (1990)

    A karsztológiában és szpeleológiában használt fontosabb idegen

    szakkifejezések szótára - Karszt és Barlang, 1990. II. pp 127. Budapest.

    BINI, A., MENEGHEL, M., SAURO, U. (1986)

    Proposta di legenda per una cartografia geomorfologica delle aree carsiche -

    Atti e Memorie della Comm. Grotte "E. Boegan" Vol. 25., pp. 21-59. Trieste.

    CULLINGFORD, C. H. D. (1962)

    British Caving - London.

    CULLINGFORD, C. H. D. (1969)

    Manual of Caving Techniques - London.

    CIGNA, A. A., RAILTON, C. L.

    Glossario speleologico - Speleological Glossary - Bologna.

    ERARD, J. (1992)

    Vocabulaire allemand-français de spéléologie - Paris.

    FRACHON, J.C.(1990)

Lexique Speleo-Secours/Cave Rescue Vocabulary (English - Dutch - French -         German - Hungarian - Italian - Portuguese - Slovak) - Spéléo-Secours     Français.

    GČZE, B. (1973)

    Lexique des termes français de Spéléologie physique et de karstologie -

    Annales de Spéléologie, Tome 28, Fascicule 1.

    JENNINGS, J.N. (1979)

    Cave and Karst Terminology - Australian Speleological Federation. Web



    With updates:

    KÓSA, A. (1967)

    Szpeleológiai szakkifejezések, angol-magyar (kézirat gyanánt) - Budapest.

    KÓSA, A. (1995/96) (with Chabert, C., Hazslinszky, T., Holzmann, H.,

Marek-Limagne, E., and Oldham, A.). The Cavers' Living Dictionary - Five editions (GB, F, D, H)

- Hungarian Speleological Society, ER-PETRO Ltd. Budapest.

    KÓSA, A. (1997)

    The Making of the Caver's Living Dictionary - Proceedings of the 12th

    International Congress of Speleology Vol. 5, pp. 129. La Chaux-de-Fonds,



    MAGYAR-angol-francia-német-orosz szpeleológiai szógyűjtemény - Budapest (UIS


    LIMAGNE, R.(1991, 1994)

    Comment dit-on? (140 termes usuels en spéléologie traduits du français en:

    Albanais / Anglais / Allemand / Espagnol / Hongrois / Italien / Néerlandais

    / Polonais / Portugais / Roumain / Slovaque / Russe) - Ecole Française de

    Spéléologie. Lyon.

    LOWE, D. & WALTHAM, A.(1995)

    A Dictionary of Karst and Caves - Cave Studies Series Number 6, British Cave

    Research Association.

    MONROE, W.H. (1970)

    A Glossary of Karst Terminology - Washington.


    Terminologiya Karsta (in Russian) - Moscow.

    TRIMMEL, H. (1965)

    Speläologisches Fachwörterbuch - Wien.

    VENKOVITS, I. (1960)

    Karsztnevezéktani vita - Karszt és Barlangkutatás, I. évf, 1959, pp 67.


    WINKELHÖFER, P. & R. (1992)

    Speläo-signaturen (deutsch, englisch, russich). Dresden.


...and many more - et encore beaucoup d'autres - ...u.v.a. - ...és még sok más


Other web links


Roger Schuster's European mirror of this page:

Framed home page:

Un-framed dictionary page:

And just to show we are not narrow-minded ....

    Jennings - Cave and Karst Terminology - the original version.

    Jennings - Cave and Karst Terminology - with Rauleigh Webb's updates.

    Jennings - Cave and Karst Terminology - Peter Ackroyd's hyperlinked version

    Max Meth's Draft Glossary of Speleological and Caving Terms

    Fevrier's Caving Glossary (GB-FR-US).

    Carl Ockier's Climbing Dictionary (de, en, es, fr, it, pl, sv)

    Bill Elliott's Glossary of Biospeleology - based on Mohr & Poulson's The

    Life of the Cave.

    Andy Waddington's "Useful Vocabulary" (de, en, es, fr).

    Graziano Ferrari's Multi-lingual Cave Survey Dictionary (de, es, fr, hu, it,

    nl, pt).

    UISIC's preliminary list of coded English/German terms for cave databases.

Advice of further links is welcome.


The Dictionary is of course an ongoing joint effort by many people around the world who are helping it grow by adding new concepts and words (even

languages?), and by tuning the existing list. Everyone making a contribution will be acknowledged.


Those who have contributed significantly to this project to date.


Attila KÓSA (HU)


Peter MATTHEWS (AU) (web site)




Others who have made suggestions for additions or corrections to date.

ASHBROOK, Bert (US). The Greater Allentown Grotto. Jun 98.

CRYSTAL, Bonnie (US). Speleoradiology Western Survey. May 98.

CSER, Ferenc (AU). Jun 98.

ELLIOTT, Bill (US). Missouri Department of Conservation. Jun 98.

ESKES, David (NL). Speleo Nederland. May 98.

FERRARI, Graziano (IT). May 98.

GARASIC, Mladen (HR). Croatian Speleological Federation. May 98.

HILL, Carol (US). May 98.

HILL, Paul (US). May 98.

LARIO, Javier (ES). Departamento de Geologia, Museo Nacional de Ciencias

Naturales. Jun 98.

PROFFITT, Merrilee (US). May 98.

WADDINGTON, Andy (GB). Northern Pennine Club & Cambridge Univ. C.C. Jun 98.

[ Top ] [ Dictionary ] [ Co-ordination ] [ Suggestions ] [ References ] [ Links

] [ UISIC ] [ UIS ]


Original page address:


Editor & Working Group Chairman: Dr. Attila KÓSA | Email:

- Please do not send more than a single page, or any attached files, to this email address without prior agreement.

Site: P. Matthews | Email: