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Q: language ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: language
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: tg-ga
List Price: $4.50
Posted: 29 Jul 2002 06:50 PDT
Expires: 28 Aug 2002 06:50 PDT
Question ID: 46428
what is the meaning of Misocania, I understand it to be fear change,
but need verification

Request for Question Clarification by luciaphile-ga on 29 Jul 2002 07:15 PDT
How sure are you of the spelling?  Can you give me a context in which
you came across the word?


Request for Question Clarification by answerfinder-ga on 29 Jul 2002 08:05 PDT
Dear tg-ga
As indicated by davidsar-ga it does mean fear of change. gives the definition as "Hatred or fear of
change or innovation" Source: The American HeritageŽ Dictionary of the
English Language, Fourth Edition.
My thanks to davidsar-ga who just beat me to it.
Subject: Re: language
Answered By: grimace-ga on 29 Jul 2002 09:35 PDT
Hi there,

Although 'misoneism' is indeed the only similar word in my dictionary,
the word you're certainly thinking of is 'misocainia'.

This site is one of the very few I've found online which offer a
definition of the word. It doesn't seem to be listed in any of the
dictionaries on my bookshelves, nor in any of the online dictionary

n. - hatred of anything new or strange, such as new ideas"

Luciferous Logolepsy: Dragging obscure words into the light of day

The etymology is Ancient Greek. It's a compound word derived from the
prefix 'miso-', meaning 'hatred of' - as in 'misanthropy' and
'misogyny' - and the adjective 'kainos', meaning 'new and fresh'.

The word 'misokainos', however, isn't an authentic Ancient Greek word,
according to the very authoritative 'Liddell & Scott's Greek Lexicon'.
This suggests that the word is a more recent coinage - probably, I
would guess, a 17th - 18th century one, as this was a time in which a
huge number of words were coined in English from Greek and Latin

To be honest, I would advise against using this word in your writing -
it is *terribly* obscure and will send your readers scrambling for
their dictionaries where, alas, they won't find the definition.
'Misoneism' is a much better bet.

Other online citations of 'misocainia':

Posting on rec.arts.books

Writing Through Media: Vocabulary List

SKB Dictionary

Hope this helps,


Clarification of Answer by grimace-ga on 29 Jul 2002 09:44 PDT
This just in - 

It seems that 'misocainea' is a variant spelling, and one which, in
fact, *is* listed by many of the online dictionary sites.

This site gives a citation although, alas, it's from the last decade:

"Although I agree with the majority that no appellate court has yet
   an insurer liable absent a premium payment, it may be nothing more
   appellate judges suffering from a case of misocainea!"
   Hill v. Chubb Life American Insurance Co., Arizona Business Gazette
   (Phoenix), Nov 11, 1993.

Wordsmith Archives

Other citations:

My gut feeling is that this spelling is wrong since, in the Greek, the
verb which derives from 'kainos' takes an -i rather than an -e in its
morphology. However, given the greater number of web-based references
to it rather than 'misocainia', I suppose it has the better claim to
being the correct spelling.



Clarification of Answer by grimace-ga on 30 Jul 2002 05:20 PDT

I visited the reference library and did a survey of all the major

The Oxford English Dictionary doesn't list the word at all.

Webster's Dictionary gives the following definition:

"misocainea - an abnormal aversion to anything new."

Alas, Webster's doesn't give a citation, but it describes the word as
a 'Neo-Latinism'; i.e. a word which was coined from Classical roots
between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The only other reference I found from about 15 major dictionaries was
in the NTC Dictionary of Latin and Greek Origins. Their definition:

"An abnormal animus, aversion, abhorrence and antagonism towards new

The NTC Dictionary gives neither citations nor date of first

If nothing else, this clears up the spelling. It's 'misocainea', NOT
'misocainia' - I'm sorry to lead you up the wrong track in my first

The omission of the word from the OED, which prides itself on being
*the* definitive authority on the English language, and which runs to
twelve volumes, confirms the fact that the word is highly obscure. I
should therefore repeat my warning about using it with great care.

Finally - thanks for asking such an interesting question.

Subject: Re: language
From: davidsar-ga on 29 Jul 2002 07:55 PDT
I think the word you're looking for is misoneism.

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