• Carmen Milligan

Wednesday Word: Misanthrope


[ˈmis(ə)nˌTHrōp, ˈmiz(ə)nˌTHrōp]

NOUN misanthrope (noun) · misanthropes (plural noun) · misanthropist (noun) · misanthropists (plural noun)

  1. a person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society. "Scrooge wasn't the mean-spirited misanthrope most of us believe him to be" synonyms: hater of mankind · cynic · skeptic · churl · grouch · grump · recluse · hermit · anchorite · hikikomori

ORIGIN mid 16th century: from Greek misanthrōpos, from misein ‘to hate’ + anthrōpos ‘man’.

Alas, Wednesday (and there is joy, joy, joy down in my heart over using a meme of Wednesday Adams on a Wednesday Word post - squeee!), I am totally with you right now.

Just like Barbara was country before country was cool, I was a misanthrope before it was cool.

It's not that I hate people. Hate is such a strong word. "Disdain" may be better suited. "Contempt" or "derision" would also work.

But, then! What is that synonym at the end of the section above? From the island nation that brought forth the word "tsundoku", comes another winner! Leave it to the Japanese to come up with such a specifically defined word to meet its needs: hikkomori. Loosely, it means a person who avoids social contact, but in Japan, it's a little more specific: the extreme avoidance of social contact, especially by adolescent males.

That's a little too limiting for me, though, because I don't mind social situations. Social situations are where I get fodder. Raw material to be collected and used for the artistic creation of derision.

I know that sounds harsh for any of you who do not know me, but that last sentence cracks me up!

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