Wordsmith Words

limen (LY-muhn) noun

A threshold of response: point at which a stimulus is of sufficient intensity to generate a response.

[From Latin limen (threshold).]


Pygmalionism (pig-MAY-lee-uh-niz-uhm) noun

1. The state of being in love with an object of one’s own making.

2. The condition of loving an inanimate object such as a statue or image.

[In Greek mythology, Pygmalion was the king of Cyprus who carved a female
figure in ivory so realistic and beautiful that he fell in love with her.
The goddess Aphrodite took pity on him and responded by bringing the statue
to life as Galatea. Pygmalion married her.]


cathect (kuh-THEKT) verb tr.

To invest mental or emotional energy in an idea, object, or person.

[Back-formation from Greek kathexis (the investment of emotional energy in
something). Ultimately from the Indo-European root segh- (to hold) that is
also the source of words such as victory (to hold in a battle), hectic,
scheme, and scholar.]


cerebrate (SER-uh-brayt) verb tr., intr.

To use the mind: to think, reason.

[Back-formation from cerebration (act of thinking), from cerebrum (brain).
Ultimately from the Indo-European root ker- (horn or head), which is also the
source of words such as unicorn, horn, hornet, rhinoceros, reindeer, migraine,
carrot, carat, and Hindi sirdar (leader, from Persian sar: head).]


psychopomp

A guide of souls, one who escorts sould of a newly-deceased to the afterlife

[From Greek psychopompos (conductor of souls), from psycho-, from psyche (breath, spirit, soul) + pompos (conductor, guide).]

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