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Picture of wordcrafter
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I've found the word 'epicaricacy' used in print in a major early work (not a dictionary)!

Although it's rendered in Greek letters, it's used as an English word – that is, the sentence is not something like, "The Greek word for this is epicaricacy." The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) by Robert Burton, states,
    Out of these two arise those mixed affections and passions of anger, which is a desire of revenge; hatred, which is inveterate anger; zeal, which is offended with him who hurts that he loves; and έπιχαιρεκακία, a compound affection of joy and hate, when we rejoice at other men's mischief, and are grieved at their prosperity; pride, self-love, emulation, envy, shame, &c., of which elsewhere. (Pt. I Sec. I Mem. 2 Subs. 8)
You can see it at this Amazon link. If the link expires in a day or two, as I expect, you load this book (version: New York Review Books Classics) in Amazon (this link this link works as of today) and then using search-within-the-book.

Notice that the spelling is έπιχαιρεκακία. On the web, I've found variations: έπικαιρεκακα. Perhaps it was given differently in different printings of the book.

Edit, re aput's last paragraph immediately below: The text I quoted had been "cleaned up" up by the publisher, for example by modernizing antique spellings. The Oxford version has the originals, such as 'rejoyice' and 'mischiefe', but has the same spelling of the e-word. I have not ascertained when the other spelling appeared; in particular, whether it is in other editions of Burton.

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Well no, it's used as a Greek word. Burton was constantly quoting Latin and Greek, making him rather bewildering to read. He used a Greek word because there wasn't an English word for it, and quoting Greek in Greek in English doesn't count as importing it into English.

The variant is a clear error. The original is good Greek, epi-khaire-kak-ia.
 
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I've never had a problem with the Greek word for schadenfreude. It is επιχαιρεκακια. After all, it is a perfectly good Greek word. Aristotle uses it twice in his Nicomachean Ethics. I am grateful though that you've found the citation for Burton which I mentioned in my blog entry a while back. If you take επιχαιρεκακια to be an English word, decked out in Grecian letters, then I suppose you also accept, from the same page, appetunt and aversans as English words. What I've always had a problem with, and still do, is the alleged English word epicaricacy, which looks like the transliteration of επιχαιρεκακια into Latin letters by a person ignorant of Greek. My pet theory is that perhaps Bailey, or his source, still unknown to us, heard the word in a lecture and improperly transcribed it. Good luck hunting!


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Quote: "Well no, it's used as a Greek word. ... and quoting Greek in Greek in English doesn't count as importing it into English."

That's an understandable position. But it's not OED's position. Elsewhere, OED cites an author who, as you'd say, is "quoting German in German [German orthography, with initial cap] in English," but OED does count it as an English-language use of the word, indeed listing it as its first citation:

    What a fearful thing is it that any language should have a word expressive of … And yet in more than one such a word is found... In the Greek έπιχαιρεκακία, in the German, ‘Schadenfreude’. Trench, 1852
OED accepts that as example of using the German term as an English word. If so, it's an equally good example of so using the Greek term.

(One can't reasonably say that the Trench quote supports the s-word as an English term, but not the e-word. The sole distinguishing factor is the use of Greek letters. But surely orthography doesn't govern whether a word exists in a tongue – if it did then you'd have to say no language exists until it is written – and surely word-status is not so biased as to turn on whether or not the foreigner happens to share our use of roman letters.)

Furthermore, OED doesn't even object that Trench is clearly saying that this is a German word, and that English has no equivalent. Burton's usage, of course, does not display that conceivably-objectionable factor.
 
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I would say that the first occurence of a foreign word in the literature does not support its being a part of the language. So, in this case, I'd say that Trench is citing a German word. He mentions that it is German. If because of his introduction of a German word to an English audience it later became naturalized, finally losing its initial capital letter, I'd accept it as an English word.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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But 'Schadenfreude' did become an English word. And in that case, the given first citation is indeed the first occurrence in English text of what would become an established English word. It doesn't become established and therefore worthy of inclusion in a dictionary until numerous more people have used it and accepted it as (or as if) English; but once they do, and it takes off, then retroactively the first use is the first citable use. You're unlikely to be able to cite "the point at which the word entered common circulation", because that's inherently vague.
 
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It doesn't become established and therefore worthy of inclusion in a dictionary until numerous more people have used it and accepted it as (or as if) English;

Well, I could be wrong, but I thought there were lots of words in the OED that have only been mentioned in other dictionaries. "Epicaricacy" just isn't one of them.
 
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Well, I could be wrong, but I thought there were lots of words in the OED that have only been mentioned in other dictionaries. "Epicaricacy" just isn't one of them.

The you have more words to champion. Wink But seriously, it's the OED editorial policy not to include inkhorn words, but some may have slipped in. Which ones? Do you have a list?


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zmj, seven of them are listed in my theme of last March: epulose, queme, nexility, spermologist, antipelargy, furfuration and testiculose.

The posts on spermologist, antipelargy and furfuration reveal the theme, note that OED admitted almost 5,000 such words, and explain the pattern of admission.


EDIT: 5,000 words/meanings for which there is (insofar as OED knows) no non-dictionary cite; almost 15,000 more for which it knows of only one.

[Methodology: In OED on-line, do "advanced search" for (obs. OR rare) NEAR 0 and for (obs. OR rare) NEAR 1, all in full text and with 'near' defined as 'within one word before'.]

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Which ones? Do you have a list?

What Wordcrafter said. Wink
 
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Well, I was misinformed about the OED's policy on inkhorn terms. They must have another reason for excluding epicaricacy. It's funny that it hasn't caught on like all the other words which it does include. "That spermologist's furfuration is really ticking me off!" But seriously, this is just one of those things, like politics and religion, which I'll just have to forego on this forum. Carry on.


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But seriously, this is just one of those things, like politics and religion, which I'll just have to forego on this forum.

It's just one of those ongoing discussions that comes up every so often here, that's all. You needn't forego it; it is a minor subject, to say the least.
 
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