V5 (5 Things 1 Topic)


I wanted to talk solely about five niche things that I’m into, but it turns out that my understanding of niche doesn’t seem to line up with exactly what niche actually means.  So, that got me digging (googling) into what/how my interpretation of niche compares to what is expressed lexically.  For reference, I held the belief that niche was a specific interest unique to a select group.  Climbing for example would be a niche from my point of view.  For some, Law and Order: Criminal Intent cosplay would be a niche, perhaps a coven for bakers of homemade blueberry pie is a niche.  You get the idea, but apparently according to sources like “the dictionary” or “tradition” this is not a proper use of niche.

Despite my reinterpretation of niche, here are 5 things you might like to know about niche.

  1. Let’s look at some definitions.
    • Noun
      • A comfortable or suitable position in life or employment.  “He is now a partner at a leading law firm and feels he has found his niche
      • A specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.  “He believes he has found a niche in the market
    • Adjective
      • Denoting products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.  “Other companies in this space had to adapt to being niche players
    • Verb
      • Place (something) in a niche or recess “These elements were niched within the shadowy reaches
  2. Noun ii, and Adjective i. above get close to my interpretation of niche, but these are just pop culture definitions.  Niche seems to have very technical meanings especially in ecology and economics.  Within ecology niche represents the match of a species to specific environmental conditions.  It accounts for how an organism fits into its environment and how it responds to the distribution of resources and competitors.  The Dung Beetle is an example of an ecological niche, in which it exploits poop as a food source.  Within economics, a niche market is a subset of the market in which a specific product is focused.  For example, watermelon flavored toothpaste is an example of a niche market, a subset of toothpaste, in which the focus is on kids.
  3. Twisting ecological niche with niche market gets us close to my interpretation above.  I like thinking of niche as a subset (thank you niche market) and a framework within environmental conditions (thank you ecology niche), but if we are going to contrive our resources to protect my ego from having to admit I was wrong about the meaning of niche, then we have one more stop to make…etymology!  Obviously, this is a French word, specifically from middle French meaning nest, or to make a nest.  If we are generous with niche as nest, and allow it to be used metaphorically, and expand the meaning of nest to include safe spaces, then mix it with market and ecology niche, and include a lose interpretation of Noun ii, and Adjective i from above, then clearly, I know exactly what I’m talking about when it comes to niche
  4. Climbing is a safe space, a nest if you will.  It serves a specialized segment of the population similar to watermelon toothpaste.  Climbing can also be understood in a way that can be explained by accounting for how this segment of the population fits into a rock centered environment and how climbers respond to the resources that are distributed.  In short, niche is a specific interest unique to a select group.  I guess I was right after all.
  5. Well, the original intent of this list was to create a piece that appeals to the niche niche of which I belong.  It was to be a call to the few rock climbing, philosopher, basketball playing, disc golfer vegetarians out there.  There must be a few of us.  Instead, we ended up with a list appealing to the niche niche of people who are interested in niche.  Sheesh! 

The plan and the execution don’t always turn out to be the same thing, but at least we all know a little bit more about niche!

V5 (5 things, 1 topic!)


11 Replies to “V5 (5 Things 1 Topic)”

  1. The Thesaurus would give you greater pleasure in other equivalent words that make your adopted ‘niche’ descriptor the right one maybe? Or the Reverse Dictionary. If you keep saying the word ‘niche’ it becomes one of ‘those’ words if you know what I mean. Strange on the brain ones. All the best.


      1. I didn’t either until last year when I picked it up from an Oxfam charity shop. Still haven’t given it a serious look to understand its concept. But it very title seemed apt to give alternative ideas. Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Besides fitting into the other niches you mentioned (climber, philosopher, etc), I also think you’ve also found your niche as a blogger. I had a niche built into my shower to hold shampoo and other shower things. Mike thought it was hilarious when the contractor called it that. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

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