The meaning of joy

The word “enjoy” is a really neat word. What do you enjoy? (I keep a running list of over 500 things that I enjoy).

Take a look at etymology of the word “enjoy”

  • en: to cause a person to be in.
  • joy: equiv. to gaud- (base of gaudēre to be glad)

Enjoy means to cause a person to be in a state of gladness. NEAT!

It’s really interesting to look at what the prefix “en-” on

a prefix occurring originally in loanwords from French and productive in English on this model, forming verbs with the general sense “to cause (a person or thing) to be in” the place, condition, or state named by the stem;

more specifically, “to confine in or place on” (enshrine; enthrone; entomb); “to cause to be in” (enslave; entrust; enrich; encourage; endear);

“to restrict” in the manner named by the stem, typically with the additional sense “on all sides, completely” (enwind; encircle; enclose; entwine).

This prefix is also attached to verbs in order to make them transitive, or to give them a transitive marker if they are already transitive (enkindle; enliven; enshield; enface).

May something—or better yet—May SOMEONE cause you to be in a state of joy.

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Lisa Schryver
Lisa Schryver
13 years ago

This is why i heart Latin-based languages like French (sorry, German, your language is neat, too). There are a lot of similarities between English and the Romance languages. However, I just did a wiki search for a list of the Latin-based languages, and to my surprise, English is NOT one of them. I always thought it was. In actuality, English is a mishmash of of several languages, Latin being one of them. More from Merriam-Webster: P.S. Spud — I’m enjoying the etymology lessons!

Lisa Schryver
Lisa Schryver
13 years ago

My thoughts exaactly!

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