This blog contains the most beautiful words I have ever read.
Then I am doing something right!
The world is beautiful–strange and beautiful. And the people in it are lovely. I just came back from watching the Endeavour space shuttle pull into its new permanent home at the California Science Center, and there were so many different people there, and they were all cheering and talking and smiling even though they’d been waiting in the sun for hours. Just because they wanted their kids to be interested in the stars, just because they wanted to be part of history, just because they knew it was going to be magnificent. And it was another one of those “this is why I run this blog” moments–because I was struck by how amazing human beings are.
Check out how depressing these thesaurus.com entries for solitary are! This is why I don’t use thesauruses, especially when I do Otherwordly things. I refuse to believe that the only words for solitary are negative. I don’t believe that someone who likes their space sometimes should be called “friendless”, “desolate”, “distant”, “misanthropic”, “unapproachable”, “forsaken”. Those are terrible. Try these.
Solivagant means wandering alone. Waldeinsamkeitis the feeling of being alone in the woods–something I could probably use today. Sturmfreior stormfree is being alone, with the freedom do what you want.
If you wanted to get metaphorical, you could say you were an inselberg–an isolated mountain. And if you wanted to work baked goods in there somewhere, you could use eremite (closely related, of course, to ‘hermit’) which means someone who lives a solitary life and also, apparently, a “spiced cookie made with molasses, raisins, and nuts”.
If anyone ever asks why I do this, this is what I’ll tell them–because the universe and the people in it are a lot bigger than any one language can wrap its words around.
do you have a word that describes someone who basically loves to do everything? something sexier than "renaissance man"
Tausendsassa! A jack-of-all-trades, or someone with many interests and talents. I’m not sure if it’s sexy, per se, but at least it’s interesting.
Honestly, I think “Renaissance man” (or woman!) is fairly sexy on its own. I like “jack-of-all-trades”, too. (Jill-of-all-trades?)
(EDIT Apparently tausendsassa is a bit of a “wacky” word in German. chenisthebestkitty suggested “Kavalier” (also German), traditionally someone who is elegant, intelligent, honorable, and worldly. In modern terms it’s something like someone who pursues women with elegance and class.)
(DOUBLE EDITheavenshallremember suggested “bricoleur”, French for a tinkerer or DIY-er, and more broadly one who dabbles in many things. Several anons, bausteine, and elfflame suggested “polymath”, a person of great and varied learning, which I think wins here for sexiness. Good work, everyone!)
Do you have any words related to traveling? Thanks! :)
I do indeed! A few, anyways. There’s wanderlust, the urge to travel; yoko meshi, the peculiar stress of speaking a foreign language; fernweh, the ache for distant places. There might be another one, but I forget what it is. If you have more travel-related words, send them in!
what's the word that describes the realization or understanding that everyone you ever meet or pass in life has their own life and that you may or may not be a part of it but everything is connected? (sorry, i honestly can't remember very well)
My original answer to this question kind of turned controversial, for reasons I don’t entirely understand myself. In order to maintain the appearance of this blog and avoid further controversy, I’ve relocated the huge walls of text all the posts relevant to this discussion to my answerblog.
The direct answer is here. A further discussion about using “made-up” words, and this one in particular, is here. Here are the rest of the posts about language, language’s evolution, new words, “made-up” words, the wordness status of “made-up” words, and my personal stance about what I call “the balance between invention and tradition”. And here is my defense against people calling me a prescriptivist, which I am not.
I really recommend reading through all these posts; it’ll help you understand my opinions on the fairly sticky idea of “real words”, and you can decide your own opinion. Questions or comments can be directed to Otherwordly’s askbox! Dialogue is welcomed.
Hi, I was wondering if you could name different types of "thropes." Er, I know this is an odd request, but I'm curious as to what other "thropes" there are. (i.e. misanthrope, thanatothrope) Sadly, those are the only two I know. I also want to say that I really love your blog and I love the fact that you have such a passion for words. Alternatively, congratulations on your book! I'll be sure to buy it!
Thank you! And odd requests are totally okay by me–t’s just that I don’t think you’re asking quite the right question. In the word “misanthrope”, the root isn’t -thrope. It’s -anthrope, meaning ‘human’. A misanthrope is someone who doesn’t like people.
So “thanatothrope” isn’t actually a word, since -thrope doesn’t mean anything. I’m actually kinda curious to where you heard that from and what you thought it meant. I know thanatos means sea I LIED–it means “death”. (thank you, other anon) But I can’t find any word that’s similar to that at all.
If you’re looking for other -anthropes, there’s lycanthrope, which is a werewolf. A therianthrope is a shapeshifter. Philanthropy is loving others by helping them, especially monetarily (but one who does this is called a philanthropist).
edit I got your other ask, I just can’t find it in my box. I found you a few more -anthropes, though half of them are related to shapeshifting. An ailuranthrope is a werecat; an arctanthrope, a werebear. An exanthrope is a cause of a disease that is external rather than from inside the body. Synanthropes are animal species that live near and benefit from humans–things like pigeons and rats and not things like cows or dogs. That’s about it, actually, unless you want to get all the werecreatures.
N-no? If you mean a page where there’s alphabetized links to all the words, then no–mostly because I’m not sure how useful that would be, in general. If you mean a page where there’s alphabetized links along with definitions, all on one page, then also no–mostly because wow that would take so much maintenance no sir.
If you just mean you want the pages where it’s just words and no text posts or answer posts or whatever, then that would be the #words tag.
I don’t know, do we need a master link list?
EDIT A few observant people have reminded me that I already tag all the words with their first letter. So if you like, you can just search each letter in the box at the top and get all the words beginning with that. I also tag with language, origin, and part of speech, among other things.
FYI, I kind of assumed you were a sort of agender dictionary-esque sentient entity, and I don't really care whether you're a guy or a girl. (That came out sounding harsher than I meant...?) I like your blog, I like the stuff you post, I like you. Gender doesn't really have a part in this.
THAT’S NOT BETTER
Okay, okay, hold up! I’m glad you all like my blog, I’m glad you thought I was a girl/thought I was a guy/thought I was an agender sentient entity/didn’t care about my gender–it is all good. It just feels weird to have half the internet think I’m a guy. I’m not a guy. There’s nothing wrong with guys, I just like being a girl.
Thanks folks. WOOO GIRLS ARE COOL that’s all okay we’re done here
Hello :) I love the blog (I'm trying to work cryptoscopophilia into my uni application) Could you help me find a couple of words? The first one is: to protest lightly, hoping that the other person will prevail e.g. "Do you want free stuff?" "No, no, I couldn't possibly...". The other is the adjective of deity (not divine) e.g. He described her in *god-like* terms. I found 'deitical' in a Harry Potter fanfic and a jargon-heavy article on Sylvia Plath, but I wondered if you had anything better? x
Cryptoscophophilia is a good one! I used words from Otherwordly in my college applications too–I’m fairly sure it wasn’t what they expected out of the “describe yourself in five words” question.
The first: I wish there was a verb form of accismus (the act of pretending disinterest by protesting against something while actually desiring it–clearly you want the other person to go “No, I insist!” and give you the free stuff anyways) but I can’t find one.
The second: Deitical isn’t really a word. Sorry, Harry Potter fanfiction author. The more appropriate adjective form is deific. Loosely related, but not an adjective, is apotheosis–elevating someone to godlike status, or talking about them as if they were of such a status. The verb of that would be apotheosize, but there’s no real adjective form.
Sorry I couldn’t be of more help! Please let me know if you’ve got any more questions.