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bibliophile

Printable Version Pronunciation: bib-li-ê-fail Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A book-lover, an avid reader.

Notes: Here is a word that should be in the vocabularies of all who read this, for I believe we all are bibliophiles. If you get tired of writing this word, you may leave off the final E: bibliophil or, if you love the word so much you want to spend just a little more time with it, you may add -ist: bibliophilist. All bibliophiles suffer from bibliophily even bibliopoles. Do you avoid reading? The antonym of today's word is bibliophobe.

In Play: Any dedicated reader may be called a bibliophile: "Rita Book would have to be a real bibliophile to make her way through the entirety of War and Peace." Of course, collecting a lot of books doesn't make you a bibliophile: "Lacie Curtain isn't a bibliophile; she just thinks books add a je ne se quoi to her decor."

Word History: Today's Good Word came to us via Latin from French bibliophile, containing the root of Greek biblion "book" + philos "friend". Biblion was borrowed by the Greeks from Egyptian byblos "papyrus". This word is somehow related to Byblos, the Phoenician port whence Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece. Of course, the name of the book which forms the basis of Christianity is the Bible, originally thought of as "THE book", as the capitalization indicates. The most notable use of philos is in the name Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, from phil- + adelpheos "brother". Of course, it may be found in the names for many things we like (see alphaDictionary's List of Philias). (We owe a debt of gratitude to Kaylin Jury, a bibliophile at only the age of nine, for suggesting today's Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword, alphaDictionary.com

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