A Lexicon of Neologisms.  Mikhail Epstein (Emory University)



                           Relationships. Communication


ambipathy n (Gr amphi- or Lat ambi-, both, on both sides + Gr pathos, feeling) - a mixture of sympathy and antipathy, of attraction and repulsion; a condition of being torn apart by conflicting feelings and aspirations.


 "... At once I hate and love as well," - this line by Catullus, Roman poet of the first century BC, is one of the first literary expressions of ambipathy.


 Dmitry Karamazov in Dostoevsky says that "a man is too broad" and is equally attracted by the two abysses--the upper and the lower ones, the ideal of Madonna and the ideal of Sodom.  In this sense, Dmitry and perhaps Dostoevsky  clearly express the common trait of ambipathy.


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defriend smbd   v  trans  (de + friend; cf. befriend)  - to break off friendly relations (with smbd).


He defriended me a year after we met, with no reason or explanation. He just stopped calling, period.


I want to defriend you. – What's wrong? - I need something more than friendship from you. I need love.



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enjoice into  v (prefix en + joy; cf. rejoice) - using false joy to talk someone into sharing an undesirable task; to entrap somebody by the appearance of joy,  to deceive or trick into difficulty.


The prefix en-, like in engage, entrap, embrace, engulf, encircle, envelop, enclose, means to surround or place inside of.


He looked extremely happy with his winning ticket, and he enjoiced me into entering these sweepstakes, which I would never have done otherwise.


The government tries to enjoice us into global expansion by claiming dubious victories, clearly in violation of international law.


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hi-byer  n (hi + bye + suffix -er) - a marginal acquaintance with whom "hi" and "bye" are the prevailing  terms of verbal exchange; the vocabulary of a minimal relationship.


Do you know this woman? - Not really, we are hi-byers. 


I was surprised to see this hi-byer stopping for a more substantial conversation.


They were married for ten years, but now they are only hi-byers.



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mehemize v  (from the interjection  mhm – an indeterminate sound by which a listener confirms hearing, without agreeing or disagreeing with what is said) - to utter the sound "mhm," to confirm listening and understanding without any more definitive response to the contents of the speech.


                 Compassionate mehemizing is the heart of diplomatic conversation. 



mehemic adj  - related to the interjection mhm that confirms listening and understanding.


What was his reaction to your proposal? – Mehemic. Neither yes nor no.


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mutually mute – verbally incompatible persons.


I respect Dr. Stone but  we are mutually mute. When we happen to meet, we feel forced to squeeze out empty words about weather and sports  in which  neither of us has  the  slightest interest.


mutual muteness  a psychological condition of verbal incompatibility between two or several persons.


There are people who feel pressed to say something though they have nothing to say to each other. Mutual muteness. The  awkwardness of silence.




                           PreDictionary. A Lexicon of Neologisms