Your Take on “Nostalgia” — Pain or Pleasure?

Your Take on “Nostalgia” — Pain or Pleasure?

Typewritten word "nostalgia" with a typewriter in the background

Let’s take a look at the original meaning of the word “nostalgia.” You are going to be surprised. (Unless you know Latin pretty well.)…

There is a natural, soothing nostalgia for the more simple, safe, straight-forward days of yore (i.e., those days before some national foul-up compelled you to follow politics). But, did you know that the word “nostalgia” was first used to name a disease?

…Although we now associate nostalgia with fond memory, the word was coined to refer to an unwanted medical condition. The algia in nostalgia means “pain”…

Johannes Hofer (1669–1752) was a Swiss physician who named the condition, which he identified as a mania tied to homesickness in Swiss mercenary soldiers. The nost- in nostalgia means “homecoming,” and such sentimental yearning for home during field operations was viewed as a disorder of the brain, with symptoms ranging from melancholy and malnutrition to brain fever and hallucinations…

~ Merriam-Webster

READ MORE: Those Were the Days: on ‘Nostalgia’ | Merriam-Webster

The way things are going in the world… personally, I think the original meaning of the word should be revived. A little melancholy, PTSD, or nostalgia anyone?

How do you use the word “nostalgia?” Are you old-school or new-school on its meaning? Do you find that “nostalgia” expresses pleasure, or pain? What does “nostalgia” actually mean to you?

Show us? Feel free to use the word “nostalgia” in a sentence or two in the comments below.

The Wonderful Realm of Words

Written by
JoAnn Chateau
JoAnn Chateau

Who’s Writing?

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about Chester, the Alpha Bichon -- with a dash of humor and a dab of Poli-Sci. Her views and insights are tinted by a former profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and training in Library and Information Science. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


Chester is a scruffy little Bichon dog, with a congenial Napoleon Complex, and stars in "The Chester Chronicles." He sometimes reports independent Canine News -- NO corporate treats accepted, NO corporate bias. Woof!

Graffiti Girl

Graffiti Girl (GG) is curator at She's progressive to the core, and easily blown away by serendipity and/or good food. (OK, GG is really JoAnn.) GG's posts signal that news or content from another website is a "must-see" and "must-remember."