Tuesday, July 12, 2005



From the mailbag:
Dear Mr Gilleland,

As a man interested in ancient languages and the classical world, I much enjoy your weblog. I was interested, moreover, in your coining of a word with the meaning of "hatred of one's own race". I have not bettered your neologism, but I wished to share with you an modern-Englishified Anglo-Saxon approximation of your Latin original:

Gainselfkin from: O.E. gegn- "against"; O.E. self, "one's own, same"; O.E. cyn "family, race, kind, nature".

Now, to our modern (classical) tastes, this sounds rather clumsy, and is very unlikely to find acceptance. Still, I feel it has some warm, barbarian charm!

Not clumsy at all. It's a fine coinage, and I'm honored to introduce it here. We see the same prefix gain- in English gainsay = contradict. Cf. also the German preposition gegen = against.

The pseudonym Deogolwulf seems to be derived from O.E. deogol "secret" and O.E. wulf "wolf". Deogolwulf is the author of the excellent blog The Joy of Curmudgeonry. For a sample post, see here. You'll want to read more.

I should also mention another suggestion for "hatred of one's own race" made by Dr. Neill H. Payne (also via email) last year: ethnomasochism.

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