Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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Thursday word: nympholepsy

nympholepsy (NIM-fuh-lep-see) - n., a frenzy of emotion, as for something unattainable.


Sometimes, thanks to Nabokov, this is specifically associated with a Lolita complex, but in general it can be any object of desire. Coined in 1774 from the older word nympholept, meaning a person is such a frenzy, using the model of epilepsy; nympholept in turn is from Greek nympholēptos, frenzy, literally caught by nymphs (nymphē + lambanein, to seize). So when a young person has had an encounter with an unreachable nature divinity and seized with longing.

---L.
Tags: greek, n, noun
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