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Note 293 – The Double Meaning of Utopia

English: Title woodcut for Utopia written by T...

Image via Wikipedia

Although the word utopia and eutopia sound the same, they have different meanings i.e. they are examples of homophones. The word utopia comes from the Greek word ou-topos which translates to ‘no place’ or ‘nowhere’ according to the British Library website. According to Wikipedia, the Greek translation for eu is “good” or “well” therefore eutopia means “good place”. As you can imagine, this causes confusion and thus brings about the double meaning.

Wikipedia explains that Sir Thomas Moore was the first to use the word utopia 1516 in his book Utopia. It was written in Latin and had a very long name which roughly translates to “A Truly Golden Little Book” which is about “a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean”. Sounds magical!

Merriam-Webster online dictionaries give three definitions for utopia:

  1. an imaginary and indefinitely remote place
  2. a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions
  3. an impractical scheme for social improvement

…and the synonyms are anti-utopia, dystopia and hell!

Hope you enjoyed today’s blog

Until tomorrow…



About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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