origin: latin




1. (in Portuguese folk culture) a deep emotional state of melancholic longing for a person or thing that is absent:
    the theme of saudade in literature and music.

Portuguese saudade ultimately derives from Latin sōlitāt-, the stem of sōlitās “loneliness, solitude.” (Latin -l- between vowels is lost in Portuguese; Latin -t- between vowels becomes -d- in Portuguese and Spanish.) The original Old Portuguese form soidade was altered to saudade under the influence of the verb saudar “to salute, greet” (from Latin salūtāre “to keep safe, pay one’s respects”). Saudade entered English in the 20th century.

“… “The Girl From Ipanema” was a potent distillation of the concept of saudade, a feeling of melancholic nostalgia that characterizes so much Brazilian music. … Longing for the unattainable, and an acute sense of the moment’s slipping away: That’s saudade.”
- Stephen Holden, “Brazilian Yearning and Imminent Loss,” New York Times, March 21, 2014



[in-soo-see-uh nt; French an-soo-syahn

1. free from concern, worry, or anxiety; carefree; nonchalant.

1820-1830; Insouciant entered English from French, based on the French verb soucier meaning “to worry.” Ultimately it finds its roots in the Latin sollicitāre meaning “to disturb.”

“You need to be flagrantly insouciant.
You care way too much.
And because of that you will be paralyzed for life and miss out on everything.”
Wendy Wunder, The Museum of Intangible Things




1. Meteorology. fine rain falling after sunset from a sky in which no clouds are visible.

1865-1870; Serein is a French loanword with roots in the Latin term sērus meaning “late.” It entered English in the mid-1800s.

“Serein is the falling evening dew, which results from the general chilling of the stratum of air nearest the earth’s surface after sundown.”
- John William Moore, Meteorology: Practical and Applied, 1894