Being Valentine’s day yesterday I thought I would dedicate this blog to words meaning love. It also seemed appropriate because I had a lovely surprise waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday – my partner and our two girls had prepared me a fantastic four-course meal. On the table were hearts, candles, a menu and beautiful hand-made cards from the girls. Afterwards I got to put my feet up and we all watched a ‘feel-good’ film. I felt thoroughly spoilt.
When I Googled the phrase words meaning love today, it brought back 405 million results. Here are a few snippets that I found interesting followed by a quick quiz:
Oxford Dictionaries – In their ‘word origins’ section they make reference to tennis scoring where ‘love’ means nil, suggesting that “to play for love (of the game)” would be “to play for nothing”. They also mention that the theory behind this might refer to the French word for egg, which is l’oeuf; the similarity being that the egg symbolises the figure zero (not sure about that, although l’oeuf does sound a bit like love – but I don’t think that’s what they meant!).
Wikipedia explains that there are several Greek meanings for the word love, with four of them being:
- agápe – This means love and s’agápe means ‘I love you’. Agápe is more to do with unconditional love rather than éros which is an ‘attraction’ kind of love (see next point).
- éros – This means passionate love, or the more modern ‘erotas’ which means intimate love. It’s more than the love of friendship (as in the next point) but not as unconditional as agápe.
- philía – Modern Greek defines this as friendship or affectionate love.
- storgē – Modern and ancient Greek defines this as affection, for example a natural affection that parents feel for their children.
In an article ‘Japanese words for love’, About.com explains that any Japanese words containing ai and koi “which roughly translate to love” relate to the word love. They explain that the best way to differentiate between koi and ai is that koi can be ‘selfish’ and ‘always wanting’, whereas ai is ‘real love’ and ‘always giving’. An example sentence they give using the Japanese word koi is koi wa moumoku which means “love is blind”.
A short ‘love translation’ quiz
The French word for love is amour (as per Google‘s translate tool). The following 6 words that I have looked up translate to the word love in different languages. Can you guess what languages they are? Answers at the end of this post:
Hope you enjoyed today’s blog
- Liefde, Amore, Sayang, 喜爱 – love is in the air, no matter where you are! (spectacularsentience.wordpress.com)
Answers to quiz
- amare (Latin)
- amor (Spanish)
- liefde (Dutch)
- caru (Welsh)
- lief (Afrikaans)
- rakkaus (Finnish)
How did you do?