in Wacky Word Wednesday

Kalopsia – Wacky Word Wednesday

And we’re back for another edition of Wacky Word Wednesday, pumping up your vocabulary with a weekly celebration of some of the wackiest and most interesting words from around the world.

Today’s wacky word is: kalopsia.

The definition from

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a condition, state or delusion in which things appear more beautiful than they really are

quo botKalopsia

As a combination of the Greek roots kallos, meaning beauty, and opsis, meaning sight (or opos, meaning eyes), in English kalopsia can also mean beautiful sight or with beautiful eyes. Although this word is indeed used in writing (references here and here), it still hasn’t been declared a Scrabble-worthy word. (But then again, the same goes for quijibo, and if Bart Simpson says it’s a word, then that’s good enough for us.)

We’ve searched long and wide to find an entry for this word in a proper dictionary, but to no avail. Nevertheless, new words and portmanteaus have to come from somewhere, right? As a neologism, kalopsia is perfect for Wacky Word Wednesdays because, as a non-word word, it’s all the more wacky.

Looking at this word from another perspective, we began to think about the act of projecting kalopsia onto others. A quick search on the internet resulted in a nice little magic spell for just that purpose: the Magick (yes, that’s magick with a k) Mirror Beauty Spell requires only a mirror, some candles, oil, incense and “a little privacy”. This recipe for kalopsia accommodates varying aspects of deception, whether it’s greater sex appeal, center-of-attention magnetism, or an overall pleasant appearance. (Think they’ve got any spells to make us more Callipygian?)

Who says beauty is only in the eye of the beholder, huh?

Anyway, for your reading pleasure, here are some examples of kalopsia used in a sentence:

  • He maintained the “tortured artist” persona quite well, from those dark brooding eyes to his head-to-toe black attire, but that was the only thing he had going for him. I didn’t have the heart to shatter his delusions; a bad case of kalopsia kept him from understanding how horrendous his paintings truly were.
  • The newlyweds entered the last of the apartments for the day. He walked in and whistled—woo-hoooo!—struck by the open space, dark wood… and low price. She stared at him in disbelief, seeing the cracks in the walls, the uneven flooring, and hearing the slight scurry of paws—presumably rats—around the corner in the kitchen. If this is beautiful to him, what does that say about me? She wondered as she stood dumbfounded at the severity of his kalopsia.

While researching kalopsia, it also occurred to us that this Greek-based word even manages to sound beautiful, while a suggestion for its counterpart in English is beer goggles. (Now enters the discussion of friends don’t let friends….)

So do you have any distinct experience with kalopsia? Feel free to share it with the crowd (though let’s try to keep it work-friendly). And have a happy (wacky) Wednesday!

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  1. Expect an influx of people to this page considering “Kalposia” is a new song on “…Like Clockwork”, the latest Queens of the Stone Age album.


  2. This is what it cost me not to share the same opinion with you guys (just kidding :))

    There is a lot of philosophy under this topic I guess, and I am sure everybody has much to say.
    Kalopsia is all over the place now anyway…and we have to deal with that (oh….I just realized that I am becoming fatalist :s)

  3. @Zachary Overline: I agree it may be an easier place with kalopsia. However, I can imagine some situations are rendered immensely more complicated than they originally might need to be as a direct result of kalopsia. Think “storm in a teacup” or “mole hill into a mountain” from another recent post from your team at CSOFT.

    With regard to “better”, I reckon we should first define the meaning of “better”. Without going too deep into it, I can definitely see ways that the world is in fact “better”, but also ways in which it is ostensibly* better while truly* worse.

  4. I argued that his obsession with her was kalopsia-induced, exacerbated by alcohol and rejection, while he spouted nonsense about true love and soulmates.

  5. I just checked out that spell. I’m just so curious to know who wrote it – what they look like, the last time they saw another human being etc. And I love the wording. Besides the already discussed ‘magick’, guess what he/she uses for taking your clothes off…………. disrobe. Disrobe! Just says so, soo much.