10 Best Words for Valentine’s Day

By Angela Son on February 14, 2013

Courtesy of denverchiropractor.com

A surprising number of people are unaware of the origin of the Valentine’s Day.  This holiday—which I would argue for the most romantic holiday in America—is named after St. Valentine, a Catholic martyr.

It is unknown as to why we celebrate today under his name.  The most widely circulated story is that St. Valentine was a priest in Rome who was beheaded on February 14, 278 for having assisted the martyrs in the persecution of the emperor Cladius II.  However, as there are more than one martyre named Valentine in the history of Christianity, there are many hypotheses as to who the “real” St. Valentine is.

Courtesy of denverchiropractor.com

(1) Romantic

Some of the many definitions of romantic the Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.) provides are, “generally having to do with idealized or sentimental love,” “demonstrating feelings of love and tenderness,” and “desirous of or wanting love and romance.”

I think that this is one of those words that people define slightly differently.  A clear definition of what a romantic gesture constitutes depends on whom you ask.  For instance, some would call handing a chocolate to their family member for Valentine’s romantic, whereas others would disagree and say the word has to do only with their lover.  Surely lexicologists, philosophers and psychologists have defined romantic in their own terms, but I like the definition the American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald gives the best:

“I’m a romantic; a sentimental person thinks things will last, a romantic person hopes against hope that they won’t.”

(2) Love-knot

I don’t blame you if you have never heard of this word.  Originated from Middle English in the 15th century, love-knot refers to either an ornamental love-token that is a symbol of true love, or a union based on love in a figurative sense.

(5) Crush

“I have a crush on you.”

Referring to intense infatuation, often for someone unattainable or inappropriate, this word has now evolved into a girl crush, man crush, and friend crush, all of which are rooted in veneration at some level and lack the sexual connotation.  I have a huge girl crush for Peony Lim, a fashion blogger with a classical sense of style.

(3) Aphrodisiac

Power is an aphrodisiac, as Henry A. Kissinger says, and chocolate and wine also are an aphrodisiac.

Etymologically rooted in word venereal, aphrodisiac refers to anything that induces sexual desire, such as a food, drink, drug, or preparation.  The Greek mythology also holds that Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, gave the Greeks the words ‘aphrodisia,’ which means heterosexual pleasure.

(4) Cupid

Son of Aphrodite, Cupid is the god of love often represented in paintings as a naked, winged boy with a bow and arrows.  The word cupid is a personified version of the original Latin word cupido, which means love or desire.

(6) Paramour
Borrowed from Old French word par amour, ‘by love,’ this word has a Middle English origin to mean sexual desire, a love affair, and the object of a person’s love affair.

In contrast to the meaning of ‘an illicit lover,’ paramour referred to the Virgin Mary when addressed by men, and Jesus Christ when addressed by women in the 15th to 16th century.  The knights labeled their lover as a paramour and an object of chivalrous admiration.

(7) Moonstruck

This word has two definitions, literal and figurative.  Moonstruck means “physically harmed or affected as a result of exposure to moonlight,” or “distracted or dazed as the result of some mental obsession, especially a romantic infatuation.”  It is funny to note the word used to mean insane or deranged (archaic now).

(8) Lovebirds

Did you know that this word, which often refers to a couple or two affectionate lovers, comes from an actual type of birds?  The word is originated from small, short-tailed African parrots in the genus (family) Agapornis, and they are noted for the affection that pairs show one another.

(9) Lasso

As many of you know, lasso means a rope with a noose at one end, used for catching cattle or horses.  As many of you know, this word has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, except that you can say, “I’m going to lasso your heart like a rodeo.”  I just love that phrase.

(10) Lovelorn

It is a pretty uncommon word.  But if you think about the word forlorn, which means unhappy, desolate, or hopeless, you could easily guess that lovelorn means “unhappy as a result of unrequited love or the loss of a lover.”

 

Definitions are taken from Oxford English Dictionary and New Oxford American Dictionary.

 

Angela is a student journalist in love with languages, travel and music. She blogs at The Uloop News about the English language, gender, fashion, and travel experiences. Her works have appeared in Art Animal magazine, Smashion blog, What the F magazine, and The Michigan Daily.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

More Uloop Entertainment Articles

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HOUSING LISTINGS

17 Photos
Shoreview Apartments
5 Photos
1 Bedroom in 3 Bedroom Apartment
8 Photos
Spice Tree
5 Photos
822 Oakland Ave Lease Takeover Jan-May
33 Photos
The Varsity Ann Arbor
See all UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN Housing Listings

GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY

Receive recent University of Michigan news and classifieds on your Facebook Feed. Click the button below and then click "Like"

BROWSE OTHER COLLEGES

Back to Top

Log In

or Sign Up
Students
Post FREE Listings
Student Start Here
Employers
Post Jobs for Students
Employers Start Here
Housing Providers
Post Available Housing
Housing Start Here

Enter College Name to See Local Results

Log In

Contact Us

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
OR
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.
By clicking Get Started or Sign In you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format