A Lexicon of Neologisms. Mikhail Epstein (Emory University)


                Love. Sex




amoresque n (cf. humoresque, arabesque) – a short literary or musical composition on  topics of love, often with whimsical or fanciful motifs.


Now Michel wants to compose a new Decameron, a collection of amoresques dealing with men and women of all existing and imaginable orientations.


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amorism n (cf. aphorism) – a concise statement, popular saying or general wisdom on love.


Steve certainly has a great deal of experience with women, but his amorisms  are  trite and superficial.



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amorist n (cf. humorist; from Lat. amor, love) –  an author who specializes in love stories, sentimental novels, etc.; an expert, a consultant in love and marriage; someone who is preoccupied with or has an experience in love and eroticism.


 Danielle Steele [is it the right name?] is a famous amorist. She has authored dozens of sentimental novels for women.


If you want good advice on this affair, ask John.  He is a seasoned  amorist.


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amoristic  adj – related to a verbal or visual discourse on love or eros.

Cf. amorous – related to love itself, inclined toward or displaying love


"Sex and the City"? Sorry, I don't share your amoristic interests.  I’d rather see a historic movie.



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amort  n (Lat amor, love + Lat mort, death) – the double instinct of love and death; the ambivalent union  of Eros and Thanatos or the transformation of one into another; a cruel and (self)destructive passion that leads to the ruin of the loved or the lover.


Amort is the most common theme of European literature, from "Tristan and Isolde" to  Oscar Wilde's "The Ballad of Reading Gaol":


And all men kill the thing they love,

  By all let this be heard,

Some do it with a bitter look,

  Some with a flattering word,

The coward does it with a kiss,

  The brave man with a sword! 


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amortify  v trans.  (Lat amor, love + Lat mort, death + suffix  -ify) - to act both with  affection and ruthlessness, to inflict suffering or ruin by love. 


Dostoevsky's novel "The Idiot"  is a story of four principal characters who consistently attempt to amortify each other--and eventually succeed.



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Armand, armand  (proper name, eponym) – a  sexually attractive boy or adolescent, a male counterpart  to Lolita, heroine of Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita (1955).  The word is derived from the name of the protagonist of Thomas Mann's novel Die Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull (The Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man, 1954).  


In Thomas Mann's novel, Diana Filiber, a 40-year-old intellectual woman and a writer (a female equivalent of Nabokov's Humbert Humbert) makes love to young Felix whom she prefers to call Armand (a possible association with "amor," "amant" – Lat "love", French "loving"). She addresses to  Armand the following confession:


Call it perversion if you will, but I detest the grown man full-bearded and wooly-chested, the mature and significant manaffreux, dreadful!.  It's only you boys I have loved from the beginningas a girl of thirteen I was crazy about a boy of fourteen or fifteen. The ideal grew a little as I grew but it never went above eighteen; my taste, the yearning of my senses never reached beyond that." Thomas Mann Felix Krull (The Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man, New York, Alfred Knopf, 1955, p. 176).



In Lolita, Nabokov uses once the phrase "a little Faun" to describe the male parallel to "nymphete," a sexually appealing girl. However, this idiom, unlike "nymphete," hasn't taken root. Essentially, all these terms, nymphete and Lolita, little Faun and Armand, describe a heterosexual attitude of adult men and women to very young girls and boys (approximately 9-14 and 12-18 years, respectively). 


This school teache was on the lookout for armands in her class. And she found one named Seth. By the time he turned 14 she was pregnant by him.


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bangover   n (bang+over; cf. hangover) – a state of exhaustion due to sexual indulgence or other excessive excitement.


"Bang" has the informal meaning: "a sense of excitement; athrill"; to "bang" (slang) -  "to have sexual intercourse."  If "hangover" refers to after-effects of indulgence in alcohol, then "bangover"  refers to after-effects of sexual excess and extravagance.


Good morning. You are looking a little bit haggard, my friend. A hangover? – Well, and bangover, too.


 I've heard the Japanese have coined a word derived from "sex-over," "sekusu oba," for which condition small bottles of pick-me-up are specifically marketed on platforms of commuter railway stations at early morning. In English, it could be called bangover, or sexhaustion.


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dislove   v trans  (prefix dis + love; cf. dislike, disapprove) – to  have a deep negative feeling, attraction-through-aversion to smbd.


"Dislove" is a deeper feeling than "dislike,"  it is not just a matter of taste, but of personal relationship.  It is addressed to individuals rather than to inanimate entities.  Dislove implies a strong negative emotional connection to its human object.


I don't dislike Andy, I dislove him. I would never marry a person whom I dislike. 


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eroticon n – a lexicon of love; a collection of words, idioms, thoughts, stories, and other discourses on love, eros, and romance.


An eroticon is a rare but powerful type of analytic compendium. Roland Barthes' A Lover’s Discourse is an outstanding example.


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equiphilia  n (Gr aequi, equal + philia, love)  - equal, indiscriminate love to many persons or things.


Sometimes equiphilia is dangerously close to indifference. Equal love to many means no love at all.


It is difficult for Mary to make up her mind. Not that she is indifferent to her admirers but she is now at the point of equiphilia.


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lovedom n (love + suffix dom; cf. kingdom, stardom) – the world of love, the totality of loving emotions and attitudes.


Edward VIII was that rare romantic who challenged society by trading his kingdom for lovedom.


Your heart is large enough to love many, but in all your lovedom, can you find a small corner for me?


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philocracy (Gr philos, loving  + kratos, power, rule) - the rule of love;  love as a governing principle of  social and communal  life.


philocrat - a person  who believes in the power of love, in governance by love.


Philocracy is based on the assumption that all authority is from God. God is Love. Hence love should be the ultimate authority in society. 


Philocracy  is not the same as theocracy, which implies the power of organized religion. What is commonly understood by theocracy would be better termed hierocracy  - government by the clergy,  ecclesiastical rule.   The true theocracy is philocracy. The Scripture does not say "God is clergy." It says: "God is Love."


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philonym  n (Gr philos, loving + Gr onuma, name; cf. synonym, pseudonym) – a word used to express love and affection


Examples of philonyms: honey, sweetie, sweetheart, dear, baby, my darling, my love, my angel…


All philonyms are so trite and trivial. "Honey, sweetie…"  How can love be expressed in such a routine way? I will call you "my icicle." And when we quarrel, "my firecicle."


Any word can be made into a philonym: Gavopus, Rufus, skunky, peapod, and even crocodile – this is how Chekhov addressed his wife in his letters.



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philophilia n (Gr philia, love) – love for love's sake.


Todd is a philophil. He does not love you or anybody in particular, he just enjoys being in love.


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philophobia  n (Gr philia, love + phobia, fear) -  a persistent irrational fear of love and intimacy, of deep relationship with smbd.


It seems Stalin suffered from philophobia. He never had a deep personal relationship with anybody, a man or a woman, either friendship or love.


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retrosexual  n (Lat retro, backward + sexual; cf. metrosexual )– a person with traditional sexual manners and preferences.


                  Mathew has never even tried  oral sex, he is a retrosexual.


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sexhaustion n (sex + exhaustion), see bangover.



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Siamorous (Siamese + amorous) – twin-like persons connected not by genetic deficiency but by a psychic symbiosis based on love. 


Do you see this siamorous couple? They’ve been my neighbors for 20 year, and I've never seen them walking separately.


-At the party your boyfriend was flirting with that redhead.

                  -It's OK, we're not siamorous, I've been flirting with Bob, too.    



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spectrosexual n (specter + sexual) - a seeker of an ideal, illusive and elusive sexual partner.


Some interpreters believe that Don Juan was not an erotomaniac but rather a spectrosexual. He loved the  intangible idea of the female more than real women.



                  PreDictionary. A Lexicon of Neologisms