Philo what? Well I never!
May 7, 2008 2:32 PM   Subscribe

Can someone provide an Ancient Greek translation for "love of style?"

Actually I'm not really looking for the Ancient Greek wording. I'm looking for a transliteration from Ancient Greek to English.

Basically I'd like an English word (that you make up if necessary) that means "love of style" just like "philosophy" means "love of wisdom," and is taken from the ancient Greek just like "philosophy" is taken from (the roughly Greek words) philo and sophia.

Bonus points if you can give a properly declined Latin phrase meaning "love of style."

In this context style refers to personal style, including but not limited to fashion. If you feel that "pursuit" or "passion" (or similar) provides a nice word than "love" feel free to suggest that too.
posted by oddman to Writing & Language (6 answers total)
Well, kosmein is "to arrange" or "to pretty up" — it's where we get "cosmetic" from. "Philocosmy" might work.

But it sounds like it ought to mean some kinda astronomy fetish, so you can probably do better.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:43 PM on May 7, 2008

Rather than the "philo" prefix, it might make a lot more sense to use the "-philia" suffix. I say this with little knowledge of Greek, merely gauging from my vocabulary. Example - logophilia, the love of words, wherein the logophile would be the lover of words.

Obligatory Wikipedia entry here. I don't see anything related to style though, sorry.
posted by Phire at 4:00 PM on May 7, 2008

How about using "moda" as the prefix, which appears to mean fashion in Italian and Greek, so perhaps modaphilia?
posted by platinum at 4:10 PM on May 7, 2008

I'm afraid cosmophil is in the OED as "Friendly to the world in general; loving all countries" (with an alternate form cosmophilite), so I don't think that's going to work. The fact is that there is no word corresponding to "style" (in the sense you want) in the ancient languages because the concept did not exist, so anything you coin is going to be a distant approximation.
posted by languagehat at 5:37 PM on May 7, 2008

Response by poster: On the one hand a distant approximation is just fine. So, everyone, feel free to keep offering suggestions.

Furthermore, would there be a word for "mode of dress?"

Finally, if it helps "cultus" is, I think, the appropriate word in Latin. (So would the latin be "amor culti?")
posted by oddman at 6:01 PM on May 7, 2008

A Latin dictionary defines "cultus" as:

habitation; cultivation (land); civilization, refinement; polish, elegance;
care, worship, devotion/observance; form of worship, cult; training/education;
personal care/maintenance/grooming; style; finery, splendor; neatness/order;'s from a verb that gives us "cultivate."
posted by Electrius at 6:48 PM on May 7, 2008

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