A reader writes:
Re your question of what to re-name clinical depression:
Winston Churchill referred to his depression as his “black dog.” I don’t know either Greek or Latin, but if that were translated into one of those languages and the resulting phrase rolled off the tongue nicely, an -ia could be appended and this might be a good title with an interesting pedigree.
Any of you classicists out there care to help us out?
UPDATE: Several readers write….
– “i guess black dog would be canis niger, making for canis nigeria or canis nigerium, but i prefer black cloud, so perhaps niger nubigena (the later meaning born of a cloud). or niger nubiferia (nubifer meaning cloud bearing). or the redundant niger praenubilus (praenubilus meaning very cloudy or dark). or perhaps a reversal with a tweak sounds best/worst: praenubilus nigerium.”
– “Canisnigeria would be the exact word in Latin. But it might remind some
people of e-mail spam.”
– “I’m no classicist, but I know there are several ‘-ia’ words that
capture aspects of clinical depression: melancholia, anhedonia (wasn’t
that what Woody Allen was originally going to call Annie Hall?), abulia.
Maybe the problem is that we’re looking for a single word to describe a
complex condition. Another thought: the depressive state seems akin to a
this-worldly form of the Hebrew Bible’s concept of the attenuated
existence of the dwellers in sheol, so maybe we should be looking for a
Hebrew or Yiddish inspired coinage.”