I heard that English is the only language with a word for “fun.”A quick Google search suggests that there’s a Spanglish word, too – borrowed, I suspect.

Three questions:

  • Do any of you know this story about “fun” to be false? Or to be true?
  • If language is integral to thought, how would people think differently without a word equivalent to “fun”?
  • If true, does that signify that we Anglophones are particularly prone to frivolousness?

This is not a test. You won’t be graded for any response or lack thereof.

About readerjohn

I am a retired lawyer and an Orthodox Christian, living in a collapsing civilization, the modern West. There are things I'll miss when it's gone. There are others I won't. That it is collapsing is partly due to calculated subversion, summarized by the moniker "deathworks." This blog is now dedicated to exposing and warring against those deathwork - without ceasing to spread a little light.
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5 Responses to Fun

  1. awain69 says:

    According to the Online Etymological Dictionary:

    1680s, v., “to cheat, hoax,” probably a variant of M.E. fon “befool” (c.1400), later “trick, hoax, practical joke,” of uncertain origin. Stigmatized by Johnson as “a low cant word.” Older sense is preserved in phrase to make fun of and funny money “counterfeit bills” (1938, though this may be more for the sake of the rhyme); sense of “amusement” is 1727.

    Apparently English didn’t have “fun” in the sense we know it today until 1727. Poor sods. 🙂

  2. readerjohn says:

    In South Carolina, a completely unknown novice beat a state legislator for the U.S. Senate Democrat nomination (Who’s Alvin Green? State asks after vote.)

    When asked in a phone interview Friday whether he was having “fun,” Mr. Greene quickly answered yes, before asking for clarification.

    “What do you mean by fun?”

    Without waiting for an answer, Mr. Greene said he was not interested in “fun,” or signing autographs (which he has yet to do) or indulging any of the trappings of his unlikely celebrity. He is interested in sticking to the issues that are important — jobs, education, justice — and to conveying why he is “the best candidate for the United States Senate in South Carolina.”

    Before elaborating on why he was, Mr. Greene excused himself, saying that he had to finish another interview.

  3. Sasha says:

    I speak Italian.
    In Italian, the word for fun is “divertimento.” This apparently comes from the French word for ‘Diversion’ or ‘distraction.’
    So other languages do have their own words, and possibly their own definition of the word FUN

    • readerjohn says:

      As they say, “Ya learn something new every day!” (if you’re lucky). Thanks, Sasha.

      • Sasha says:

        No Problem… I did read an article one time however which said that some languages don’t have a different word for green and blue, and some scientists did a study and found that people who spoke these languages had a harder time determining the difference between the two colors….
        I just thought about that when I read the line about language being integral to thought….

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