Printable Version
Pronunciation: pê-gê-nê-fil-i-ê Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass

Meaning: The love of beards.

Notes: This new word is creeping into the general vocabulary of English. It is well-formed, so why not allow it in? In fact, why not help expand its family and call someone who loves beards a pogonophile, "shaving", pogonotomy, the study of beards, pogonology, the growing of beards, pogonotrophy, and the removal of beards, pogonectomy. In fact, most of these words have already been used.

In Play: "Laura is possessed of pogonophilia; she refuses to go out with any clean-shaven man." That would make Laura a pogonophile. Men may be pogonophiles, too: "Pogonophilia is wide-spread among men today, especially among the famous."

Word History: Today's Good Word is a recent concoction created by combining Greek pogon "beard" with philia "affection, friendly love". Little is known about pogon. A reasonable explanation from Russia is that it came from po-, akin to Cyprian Greek pos "on, at" + -gon, which could be related to genys "jaw". However, keep in mind this is pure speculation. The origin of philia is just as much a mystery. (We need now to thank Paul Ogden, one of the long-standing editors of the Good Word series, for noticing that today's Good Word was up and coming before the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary did.)

Dr. Goodword,

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