You are here:

Greek/Greek term meaning "difficulty of communion"


Hello. I'm an amateur writer currently struggling to write a science-fiction novel of sorts. Since I've used the name of "Orpheus" and the term "Eidos" for my story, I trying to keep the "greek" symbolism theme fairly consistent, and I'm in need of a good title.
The story I'm trying to write deals mainly with how much we as human beings are distancing ourselves from one another and how hard it is for us to understand each other's hearts in a fundamental level. Basically how much, deep down, every human wishes to reach out to others.
I've been trying to find an ancient greek or greek term that somehow encompasses this feeling of isolation and longing for other, but no luck until now. Is there any particular term (preferibly one word) that might work for this end?

Thanks in advance. Also, that's the first time I use this site, so I'm sorry if I did anything wrong.

Hello Lucas,

thank you for your question. Such a term is too special to exist, but it is possible to make it up according to several language rules. There is already a Greek term for the opposite of what you are looking for, altruism (Greek: "philallelia" well, it sounds a bit like hallelujah). Based on that we can make a term with first composite "each other" and second "pain, longing" etc. The thing is that there happen to be too many l's in that; the word would be "allelalgia" (cf. nostalgia or algolagnia). It sounds awkward, but it's a possible word. If you like it, you may use it.

A synonym of "algos" (=pain) might make the word sound better. That would be "allelodyny" (modern anglicised) or "allelodynia" (more latinate). "Odyne" means inner pain, deep personal pain (the root od- is the same like in the word "Odysseus", "full of ireful pain, emotional rage" and is related to the Latin word "odi" = to hate).

But I think, there is a better solution for a title. Using the words "split" and "heart" we can make a word like "schizocardia" (just like "schizophrenia", meaning "mind split"). You can use the prefix schizo- to form various concepts. Maybe "schizanthropy" ("split humans", cf. lycanthropy), so that they are more recognisable at first glimpse than the "allelo"-versions above.

Let me know whether these ideas helped you come up with a title.

Have a nice evening and Mayday, too, of course!



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Michael Barkas


I provide assistance in linguistic, literary topics of Greek and Latin covering, thus, the following fields: translation, grammar, syntax, vocabulary, etymology, morphology, semantics and interpretations etc.


Studies: University of the Aegean, Dept Rhodes Friedrich Wilhelm Universitšt Bonn

Magister Artium (Archeology/Linguistics) Bachelor (Latin/English/Greek)

©2016 All rights reserved.