I have spent most of my life not knowing the meaning of the word nostalgia. I have looked it up. But as I was talking to someone about the experiences he had, he used the word as if it were a common everyday word.

Would someone please tell me how you use the word nostalgia, and try to be detailed about the situation in which it is used?

closed as off-topic by RegDwigнt Dec 8 '13 at 22:56

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – RegDwigнt
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    Nostalgia means remembering good things in your life, and feeling a little sad you aren't doing them any more. It's as common as any other emotional term, maybe a little more precise than some. Nostalgia is a noun, nostalgic is its adjective. One feels nostalgia, like one feels sadness or pain. One is nostalgic about something, like one is sad or pained. – John Lawler Dec 8 '13 at 22:25
  • Nostalgia doesn’t refer only to activities (“you aren’t doing them any more”). It can refer to objects (“My first car was beautiful; I miss it.”) or even people. . . . / . . . / . . . / . . . P.S. @JohnLawler +1 for using “any more” rather than “anymore.” – Scott Dec 17 '13 at 16:50
  • @Scott: You're welcome. Space, the final frontier. – John Lawler Dec 17 '13 at 17:21

Nostalgia is a feeling one gets when talking about good things in the past, specifically: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

It is used very commonly. It is a feeling most if not all of us experience, and as such, we commonly refer to it, like sadness, happiness, loneliness and other common feelings. One can even feel nostalgia for an experience we never had, for example, when looking at a depiction of a happy family. Norman Rockwell was known for making people feel nostalgic about a past they never experienced.

I have experienced nostalgia many times. Usually I do so when thinking of simpler times, or times when I was particurlarly happy. For example, when I think about the farm I had 20 years ago, and how much fun the animals were, how much joy they brought to the hearts of my children and myself, I feel nostalgia for those days, and for my animals.

  • 2
    It used be used a lot more, in the good old days! – mgb Dec 9 '13 at 0:02

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.