Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
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Postby tedholzman » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:25 am

I saw this one in a Mary Wesley novel.

Apolaustic -- devoted to enjoyment.

Pretty straight from Greek: apolaustikos - to enjoy. First citation in the OED is from 1837.

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Postby Slava » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:01 pm

Nice find. I wonder how it compares to hedonistic.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:54 pm

Apolaustic vs. hedonistic:

In my experience of these two words and from dictionary research, I believe hedonistic is usually devoted to sensual and perhaps sinful pleasure. We can read Dr. Goodword apolaustically. I get positive vibes from the word. I get negative vibes from hedonistic. Please don't describe me as hedonistic but I admit without shame to being just a tad apolaustic. It is sad to know that hedonistic is a well known word while apolaustic is rarely used. Contrast fun with joy.
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... vs. epicurean vs. sybaritic

Postby tedholzman » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:15 pm


Pertaining to taste or enjoyment; agreeable.
n. The philosophy of taste. Sir W. Hamilton.

(Century dictionary and cyclopedia, via WordNik)

Except for one sentence in one novel, I've never seen this word in use. But given that one of its definitions seems to make it a quality of connoisseurs, I would imagine the original meaning is somewhat less sensual and more intellectual. Of course, that could just be Sir Hamilton's take on it.

I haven't yet found the meaning of morpheme "laust". I wonder if the l is epenthetic? It would be hard to say "apo-austic". I don't have a good Greek lexicon at home, and don't know enough Greek grammar to use the online ones. Does anybody know?

Anyway, it brings up the possibility of an interesting distinction between "pleasure" and "enjoyment".
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:08 am

I just can't find enough on this word. Apparently it was used only rarely in the past century. Etymology doesn't go deeply enough.

Try again, Ted.
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Postby Gregorian » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:48 am

The word appears twice in C. P. Snow's "The Light & the Dark", used with the writer's usual precision.

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