Monday, 11 January 2010

XENON definition & etymology

Xenon = (anc. Greek) foreigner, stranger, guest, strange-looking

Contemporary usage in English:

Xenon is also a chemical element represented by the symbol Xe. A colourless, heavy, odorless noble gas, xenon occurs in the Earth's atmosphere. Unable to determine its nature initially, the element Xenon was coined by its discoverer, Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsay (1852-1916)

Xenophobia = xeno (a combining form meaning "guest, stranger, person that looks different, foreigner") + phobia, ("fear, horror or aversion")

Xenophilia = in common usage it means an attraction to foreign peoples, cultures, or customs. For example, a person may date someone of another race simply because they are different. Xenophilia is a theme found in science fiction, primarily the space opera sub-genre, in which one explores the consequences of love and sexual intercourse between humans and non-humans, including extraterrestrials.

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