Friday, March 15, 2013


Meaning: the ache for the distance, farsickness, wanderlust, itchy feet.

Usefulness: 1 (Fernweh is one of my favourite words, and something I've suffered from for some time now, so I am biased regarding its usefulness. I think it's more useful than wanderlust or itchy feet, as it captures the longing for faraway places when at home, and the joyful ache of beauty I experience when travelling.)

Logofascination: 1 (A German word, the logical opposite to heimweh, homesickness; it's from words meaning, unsurprisingly, far and ache. Looking up heimweh is fascinating, as it leads you to nostalgia, apparently coined especially for Swiss mercenaries who suffered terribly when working in the rest of Europe, flat and boring when compared to Swiss mountains.)

In the wild: It got a mention in my previous dromomania post, and is the name of my other blog, updated even less now that I have this one.

Degrees: 1 (I went looking for an obscure English syllable linked to the German fern, but of course it's just far.)

Connections: 1

Which is used in: G&P, Book the Second, XVIII: How a great scholar of England would have argued against Pantagruel, and was overcome by Panurge. Prior to being soundly defeated by Panurge, the Englishman explains why he has travelled so far for an argument, and appeals to history:
As it was manifestly shown unto us in the Queen of Sheba, who came from the utmost borders of the East and Persian Sea, to see the order of Solomon's house and to hear his wisdom; in Anacharsis, who came out of Scythia, even unto Athens, to see Solon; in Pythagoras, who travelled far to visit the memphitical vaticinators*; in Plato, who went a great way off to see the magicians of Egypt, and Architus of Tarentum; in Apollonius Tyaneus, who went as far as unto Mount Caucasus, passed along the Scythians, the Massagetes, the Indians, and sailed over the great river Phison, even to the Brachmans to see Hiarchus; as likewise unto Babylon, Chaldea, Media, Assyria, Parthia, Syria, Phoenicia, Arabia, Palestina, and Alexandria, even unto Aethiopia, to see the Gymnosophists.

*it's possible Sir Thomas means mephitical, relating to gaseous vapours, an allusion to the Oracle of Delphi. Vaticinators is Latin for prophets.

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