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Eight words for the love of stuff and things

Valentine’s Day is the one day each year that we officially celebrate our love and affection for each other. But what about the other things in our lives that we hold dear? The hobbies we find joy in, the items we covet and the values we, well, value. Did you know that the foodie French have a name for a lover of grub and that (no surprises here) we Brits have a word for someone who finds pleasure in precipitation?

Expand your lexicon of love this Valentine’s Day with our list of words from around the world for love, but not as you know it…

1. Dor

The Romanian word “dor” describes an intense love or longing for a person, place, or thing that is out of reach. It is related to the French words “douleur”, which means pain, and “deuil”, which means mourning. In deepest, darkest February, one might find oneself feeling “dor” for the summer sun!

2. Tsundoku

Love buying books, but not too hot on actually reading them? Then you’re guilty of “tsundoku”.

The Japanese word describes a love of collecting reading materials but letting them pile up in your house without ever getting through them.

“Tsundoku” is a combination of numerous Japanese words: “tsunde,” which means to stack things; “oku,” which means to leave for a while; and “doku,” which means to read.

3. Pluviophile

Do you simply love a downpour? Find joy on a rainy day? Experience an inner peace stomping in a puddle? Then you could very likely be described as a “pluviophile”: a lover of rain.

Let’s face it, it’s a handy inclination for those living in the British climate.

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4. Gourmand

The French are a nation of food lovers and, as such, they have a word for someone who appreciates good food and drink – and consumes a lot of both.

With connotations of greed or gluttony “gourmand” isn’t the most flattering of monikers. “Gourmet”, in contrast, describes a person with refined tastes who loves good food and drink, and knows an awful lot about it.

5. Pogonophile

Charles Dickens was one, as was Charles Darwin, and indeed Abraham Lincoln. And of course, let’s not discriminate: women can be “pogonophiles” too. No, it isn’t someone who loves to jump around on a pogo stick. A “pogonophile” describes someone who loves or studies beards.

6. Philotimo

“Philotimo” is a Greek noun that translates as “love of honour”. It expresses the importance of respecting and honouring one’s friends and family and is considered to be the highest of all Greek virtues.

The term essentially means doing good and demonstrating exemplary behaviour. To the Greek, “philotimo” is a way of life. The concept is certainly nothing new: it even appears in the Bible in the letters written by Paul the Apostle.

7. Philoxenia

“Philoxenia” is a Greek word that means far more than just an eagerness to show hospitality or a warm welcome. It is a love of strangers and guests to the home, and is literally translated as “friend to the stranger.” Got a new neighbour? Why not demonstrate “philoxenia” and invite them round for dinner this Valentine’s Day?

8. Amour de soi

We would probably all happily point the finger at an ex who demonstrates “amour de soi.” The French term literally translates as a “love of oneself”. The phrase is a concept in the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and refers to a kind of self-esteem and self-love that is not contingent on the judgement of others.

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