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Can I say "I have been nourishing my passions"?

Or something similar to express the figurative fact that "I have been developing and nourishing them"?

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3 Answers 3

Yes, I believe you can. The phrase makes semantic sense, in that nourish means

1 .: nurture, rear 2 : to promote the growth of 3 a : to furnish or sustain with nutriment : feed b : maintain, support ("Nourish." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2014. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nourish.)

So in the second sense, you can "promote the growth of" your passions.

The phrase has been used this way, mostly in informal biographical or autobiographical writing. Note that almost all of the examples I could find were blogs, which does raise the question of whether this is a new turn of phrase, and how "accepted" it is elsewhere (e.g. journalism, books, etc.). EDIT: I did find some old references to the phrase, although in one case using the word passion in a religious sense (referring pejoratively, I think, to carnal passion); see bottom of answer

The Atypical Scandinavian, in the third person:

At 52 years old, "Skarzie" as his close friends call him, is a fulfilled man. With a history of nourishing his passions - reading and cooking, he does not claim one luxury - being able to attentively sort through the film proposals which continually pour in.

and several places in the first person:

Frontyard Foodie:

Two days til Thanksgiving! I’m so excited. Today I’m thankful for my amazing dad for nourishing my passions and being so involved in my life.

WNC Woman

I am diving into new subjects in my paintings, and into new materials. In these new awarenesses, as my mind flickers with hard economic truths, I am finally enjoying surrendering to the unknown, relishing what comes, letting the day flow through me, nourishing my passions, enjoying and being creative with the uncertainty, and trashing what does not fit. The evening comfort of bedtime is filled with recognizing the numerous blessings of the day (including my new dog, Dallas) and realizing what an amazing and embracing community that I am living in, and in knowing that I listened and I am HERE.

Older References: Notes Explanatory and Practical on the Gospels: Designed for Sunday School... Notes Explanatory excerpt from Google Books

James, George Paine Rainsford: Agnes Sorel: An Historical Romance, Volume 1 Agnes Sorel excerpt

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I'd say feeding and cultivating one's passion are much more common collocations. Nurturing one's passion is also possible.

However, there's an article from the Irish times with this title:

Eat, play, love: nourishing a passion for healthy eating (http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/parenting/eat-play-love-nourishing-a-passion-for-healthy-eating-1.1598909)

So it's up to you. I wouldn't have a problem with any of these verbs. :-)

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I think nourishing your passion is more in tune with maintaining an existing passion. Same for feed ones passion. Developing doesn't seem to fit well in my opinion b/c I'm thinking of a sports fan or a gambler.

To me nourish or feed is more like sustain or maintain ones passion.

Develop ones passion I would think something like reinvigorate or expound upon ones passion. Maybe say something like, "John Doe proved his [blank] passion that he really wanted to learn skateboarding beyond his current skills that he was willing to do [this]."

I'm thinking a word [blank] is something like, "yearning", "undying", "driven", and [this] is something "like break a leg", "earn a medal", "perform a double clutch something move".

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