Lots of words ending with -phile have a sexual context, yet phileo is a friendship love which has nothing to do with sexual context. Why is that? Is there an innocent, pure, friendly suffix that can be used with the meaning "lover" and not "luster"?

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    There is one vote to close as "unclear what you are asking". I find the question clear. The OP is asking about a suffix that connotes intense friendship, friendship so close that it is love, but with no sexual undertones or overtones or sexual content at all. A friendship between equals, so it isn't doesn't have parent-child content either. Surely everyone has a few such friendships. OP -- if I am wrong, please clarify. And feel free to incorporate whatever you want of this in your Q.
    – ab2
    May 21 '16 at 16:13
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    I think the distinctions between "philea," "eros," "agape" etc. were probably not as clear-cut in actual spoken Ancient Greek as they are made out to be. See this Wikipedia article: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love "as with other languages, it has been historically difficult to separate the meanings of these words" "in [Nichomachean Ethics] philos denotes a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers"
    – herisson
    May 21 '16 at 16:25
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    @ab2 I have to confess that I am the close-voter. How many words ending with -phile have sexual connotation? I don't think "bibliophile", musicophile, etc. have it. I think the question needs more examples with more clear context.
    – user140086
    May 21 '16 at 16:44
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    @Rathony Good point. Also, I don't think the Quakers were thinking sexually when they named Philadelphia.
    – ab2
    May 21 '16 at 16:46
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    @Foxcat385, I think that your question simplifies down to "why have some -phile words been used in the mainstream as sexual terms and others not", to which I'm not sure you'll find a satisfactory answer. What I do know is that I hear people coining new -philes on a regular basis (less frequently new -philia) and none of the listeners or readers seeming to assume sexual connotations.
    – almcnicoll
    May 23 '16 at 7:39

Michael Quinion, Ologies and Isms: Word Beginnings and Endings (2002) suggests that words taking the suffix -phile can be sorted into a number of subgroups within the philos-related family:

-phile Also -phil, -philia, -phily, -philic, and -philous. Lover of or enthusiast for, having an affinity with a given thing. {Greek philos, loving.}

Several broad groups are linked within this ending. One set denotes an admirer of the customs, people, or institutions of a country: Anglophile, Francophile, Slavophile, Japanophile. Another marks an enthusiast for the cultural products of a medium (audiophile, cinephile, videophile), or for some subject area (bibliophile, a lover of books; oenophile, a connoisseur of wines; technophile, a person who is enthusiastic about new technology). It also appears in names for abnormal psychological states: a paedophile (US pedophile) (Greek pais, paid-, child, boy) is a person who is sexually attracted to children; a zoophile (Greek zoion, animal) can be a person with a morbid attraction to animals (though it is also used for a micro-organism that attacks animals).

So, according to Quinion, constructions such as necrophile are merely a subset of the larger group of possible meanings of -phile—a particular subset that refers to attractions based on abnormal psychological states. The existence of such words needn't be seen as casting any kind of sexual shadow over words such as Russophile, acidophile, and electrophile.

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