Here’s another one for the collection of beautiful words

Yesterday I shared the word solivagant, which I’d just come across. It means to be a solitary rambler; to walk alone. Today’s beautiful word is one I came across a few years back, suggested to me as the title for a novel I’m yet to write.

Saudade – longing for something that has never really existed.

Like world peace. Or gender equality.

Saudade is Portuguese, but has sneaked into English over the past few decades. Linguists point out that it has no direct English equivalent, mixing nostalgia, longing, melancholy and loss.

Hispanic studies author and translator Aubrey F.G. Bell described it as:

Young man walking along a road a d looking back at a pink sky and tall towers behind him

“vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future”.

The word saudade is often used in Portuguese and Brazilian poetry and music.

Take a listen to a song by Joao Gilberto called ‘Chega de saudade’ here.

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