A Lexicon of Neologisms.  Mikhail Epstein (Emory University)


                              Psychology. Emotions



astralgia  n (Gr astro-, star + Gr algos – pain, grief, distress; cf. nostalgia) - a  longing for stars and interstellar travels to the remote corners of the universe; homesickness for the cosmos.


The film "Gattaca"  is about astralgia. The protagonist Vincent, though deemed genetically flawed and subsequently fated to a low-level occupation, pursues to the end his dream of space travel.



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conaster n (from Lat cum, with + Gr astron, star) - literally with star, the exact antonym to disaster;  the fortunate outcome of an almost imminent disaster; the sensation of a catastrophe narrowly averted and later remembered from the vantage point of safety.


There were several conasters in my life that I cannot recall without thanking God for his undeserved mercy.


You were born under a lucky star. This conaster is an amazing mixture of chance and miracle.


conastrous adj - of the nature of a conaster, causing great relief.


I had a conastrous experience after being caught in a storm while windsurfing.



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happicle  n (happy + diminutive suffix –icle, like in "particle," "icicle") – a particle of happiness,  the smallest unit  of happiness; a  single happy occurrence or a momentary feeling of happiness.


Happicles  make life worth of living, even in the absence of one big  happiness.


There is no happiness in this world, but there are happicles. Sometimes we can catch them, fleeting and  unpredictable as they are.


Like  photons, happicles  have zero mass at rest— they lack the stable inertial mass that we identify with happiness.  Happicles flash and go out in passing.  They may be as transitory as a fragrance in the air, or a  falling leaf, or the  glance of a passerby on the street.


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multividual n (Lat  multus, many + Lat individuus, indivisible) a multiple individual that embraces many selves and, in a technological perspective, can possess multiple bodies.


As early as the 1970s, psychologists indicated the emergence of a proteic type of personality who combines the properties of different individuals. This is not a schizophrenically split personality, but one rich in roles and selves, a multividual who cannot be confined to a single self.


The multiplicity of selves often reveals itself  in acts of inspiration and artistic creativity. Eventually these multiple selves will acquire not only symbolic and imaginative embodiments, similar to theatrical characters, but also independent bodies. As a bio-species is exemplified by a multiplicity of individuals, a multividual will become a psycho-species exemplified by various organisms. Such multividuals  will reach across continents assuming various material guises and performing various social and professional roles, and simultaneously they will be aware of their unique destiny and moral responsibility.



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narrow(ly) awake  mostly asleep, dozing; the opposite of "wide awake."


I haven't slept all night, so don't expect me to say anything reasonable. I am narrowly awake today.



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oneirogenic adj (from Gr oneiros,  "dream" + genic; cf. photogenic, telegenic) –   having a propensity to appear in  somebody's dreams.


Some people are photogenic, others, oneirogenic; these abilities rarely coincide. A person who is plain and hardly noticeable in real life may haunt our dreams and imagination.


Have you noticed that cats are more oneirogenic than dogs?


To surprise your friends at a party, ask them: "Do you find me "oneirogenic"?  If the answer is "yes," ask them to recall your adventures in their dreams.


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polypath n (Gr polys, much, many + patheia, suffering) - a person with multiple disorders, such as neuropathy, myopathy, sociopathy, chronopathy, etc.


The Latin proverb "mens sana in corpore sana"  is not universally true. Look at Stephen Hawkings.  One person can be both a polymath and a polypath.



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transvert n (Lat trans, across, over  +  vertere, to turn; cf. introvert, extrovert)  - a psychological type that  alternates between introversion and extroversion and combines features of both types. 


I don't know who I am, an extravert or an introvert? I am rather a transvert. But if so, then the entire classification crumbles.


His life moves from one extreme to another, from complete self-absorption to wild partying at random places with random people. He is a typical transvert.




                  PreDictionary. A Lexicon of Neologisms