New Victorian words

From Austin Storm
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Words that came on the scene to express the seismic changes in the way of thinking that marked the Victorian age:

  • "idealistic" (meaning unrealistic) in 1829
  • "utilitarian" (to mean merely material) in 1830
  • "intellectualism" in 1829
  • "aesthetics" (as the study of taste) in 1830
  • "eclecticism" came to architecture in 1835
  • "self-consciousness" in 1837
  • "normal" (which previously meant 'right-angled') in 1828

"The key to the period [1820-1840] appears to be that the mind had become aware of itself," wrote Emerson in 1876.

From Jonathan Hale's The Old Way of Seeing