Words of Hatred – Words that start with the Greek element ‘miso-’

‘Misanthropy’ is a hatred of humankind. ‘Misandry’ is a hatred of men; ‘misogyny’ is a hatred of women. Together they are part of a family of words that use the Greek element miso- / mis-, meaning ‘hatred’, as a prefix.

When I was looking up miso- on etymonline.com one day, I saw that there are other words that start with this element, such as ‘misocapnic’ – ‘hating smoke’ – and ‘misocynic’ – ‘hating dogs’ – and wondered if there are other miso- words that, through circumstance, hadn’t made it into Modern English (or at least, weren’t common in Modern English).

I found quite a few. Misologia – a hatred of argument or discourse – a very useful word for the modern day. Misodemia – a hatred of democracy – also very useful. Misagathia – a hatred of good – an extremely useful one both for describing some people in the real world and for describing some people in fantasy worlds.

So I’ve compiled this short list (which I may add to later) of words that start with miso- / mis-, that describe a kind of hatred, and which might be particularly useful, and so good to bring into Modern English. I myself will be using several of these quite a lot.

Words I found a dictionary entry for

GreekRomanised Greek / English NeologismMeaningAdjectival Form
μισαγαθίαmisagathiaa hatred of goodmisagathic
μισοδημίαmisodemiaa hatred of democracymisodemic
μισολογίαmisologiaa hatred of argumentmisologic
μισοπονηρίαmisoponeriaa hatred of evilmisoponeric
μισαλληλίαmisalleliamutual hatredmisallelic

Note that the English neologisms could be given spellings that follow the same evolutionary changes as words like ‘misanthropy’ – i.e., ‘misagathy’, ‘misodemy’. Personally I prefer the -ia ending.

Words that I have constructed based on my limited knowledge of Classical Greek

The words in the table below I did not find a direct dictionary entry for. I have constructed them from other words and entries. My knowledge of Classical Greek is very limited, and doubtless there is an expert out there who can tell me if these inferred words are correct (both in terms of their construction and their romanisation).

GreekRomanised Greek / English NeologismMeaningAdjectival Form
μισοκαπνίαmisocapniaa hatred of smokemisocapnic
μισοκυνίαmisocyniaa hatred of dogsmisocynic
μισαἴλουρίαmisailuriaa hatred of catsmisailuric
μισαλήθειαmisaletheia / misalethiaa hatred of truthmisaletheic / misalethic

Apostrophic Abbreviations

I remember learning about apostrophes in primary and secondary school. I remember learning that they could be used to indicate possession with the possessive s – for example, ‘Ben’s blog’ – and I remember learning that apostrophes were also used in abbreviations – they denoted letters that had been omitted to make two words shorter.

This is something we all learn in school. But I think something else we learn at the same time is that there is a set of words that are abbreviated in this way (words like I’ve and you’re) and that that’s it – no other words can be abbreviated in this way.

But in the last two years or so, I realised that there really isn’t anything to stop me from using apostrophes to abbreviate more words. (It might not be considered grammatically correct by a number of grammar and spelling aficionados, but I don’t think there’s any point sticking to a rule of grammar if the rule adds nothing to the language.) There are words that I abbreviate when I speak them – sometimes if I want to write a sentence, but convey the same meaning as if I had spoken it, I want to abbreviate the same words.

So I have started doing this – I have started abbreviating other words – beyond the standard set – and here are some of the ones that I use:

  • I’d’ve – I would have
  • You’d’ve – You would have
  • They’d’ve – They would have
  • What’ve – What have
  • When’ve – When have
  • to’ve – to have
  • Couldn’t’ve – Could not have
  • Wouldn’t’ve – Would not have
  • There’re – There are
  • Where’re – Where are
  • Who’re – Who are
  • Y’know – You know
  • D’y’know – Do you know
  • J’know – Do you know
  • ‘snot – It’s not
  • ‘salso – It’s also

In this list there are words which have two apostrophes in them where I’ve smashed together three words. I find this to be delightfully absurd. Two apostrophes is altogether too many apostrophes to have in a word – much the same way that twelve sides is too many sides for a £1 coin to have – and that’s why I think it’s brilliant (and I like the new £1 coin too).

Some of these words even start with apostrophes – also a lot of fun.

It doesn’t save any time writing words like this – I write fewer characters but I spend more time thinking about when to type the apostrophes. I use these abbreviations in order to make what I write more similar to what I say. They can prevent something I write from seeming too formal and stiff.

Microsoft Word complains when I do this, of course, as does my phone when I use these abbreviations in text messages. But I have a lot of idiosyncrasies in my writing, and I’ve long since ignored Word’s opinion of it. (‘Yes Word, I do in fact WANT that line to be a sentence fragment.’)