Do ancient languages have an equivalent word to “cool”?

By: | Post date: 2016-09-07 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

Do modern languages have an equivalent word to “cool”?

Cool is a peculiarly Modern American artefact, celebrating at first emotional detachment, and then the chic of youth, and being up to date with fashion and other trends. The Esperanto rendering of cool (Mark A. Mandel’s answer to What is the word for “cool” in your language?) is spectacularly uncool–it’s the acronym of “Modern Youth Style”; but it at least hints at the beginning of the meaning.

But like I say, even other modern languages struggle with coming up with equivalents to the word: it is very entrenched in a particular cultural context. Even the pre-1950s equivalents within English, enumerated in What was the word for cool before cool?, don’t sound quite the same.

So sure, Latin would have had a word for fashionable, or fashion-mongering, or maybe even chic. But are those words the same as cool?

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