0

I understand that agnostophobia derives from an ancient Greek word, while angst apparently evolved out of Danish and German about 1942. They have a somewhat similar meaning, especially in philosophy, making me wonder if they ultimately share a common origin.

EDIT

You can go ahead and close or delete this question. KarlG gave me the answer I was looking for, even if it isn't the one I was hoping for. I guess this is just an example of two words with different origins converging in meaning.

closed as off-topic by Nigel J, Edwin Ashworth, John Lawler, Jim, Bread May 20 '18 at 17:57

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

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 4
    I think this question is lacking in research and is asking the answerers to do the research that ought to have been provided (and linked) by the OP. – Nigel J May 20 '18 at 15:26
  • 4
    I agree with @NigelJ. I'd be very surprised to discover that angst and agnostophobia have any meaningful etymological connection, but I don't see why I should need to confirm my suspicions by looking them up (they certainly don't have much of a "similar meaning" to me). OP can do that (in which case the question will probably become moot anyway). – FumbleFingers May 20 '18 at 15:44
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it requests non-English etymology. – Edwin Ashworth May 20 '18 at 15:55
  • @EdwinAshworth surely agnostophobia is an English word? Off-topic because of lack of research ok but not because of the words they're asking about – BladorthinTheGrey May 21 '18 at 16:45
  • @BladorthinTheGrey The unedited original was 'I understand that agnostophobia derives from an ancient Greek word, while angst apparently evolved out of Danish and German about 1942. They have a somewhat similar meaning, especially in philosophy, making me wonder if they ultimately share a common origin.' 'Ultimately' must be requesting pre-adoption-into-the English-lexis etymology. – Edwin Ashworth May 21 '18 at 19:31
4

An attempt to connect these two words etymologically fails at the first letter. Agnostophobia ‘[morbid] fear of the unknown’ derives from Gk. ἄγνωστος (ágnōstos, á + gnōstos, ‘ignorant, not knowing’). The first letter is an alpha privative, a prefix a-/-an signalling absence or negation, as in atypical, amoral, or anaesthetic.

The German word Angst, however, ultimately derives from the PIE root *angh, ‘narrow, confined’, which makes it at least cousins with Latin angustia, -ae, anguish, anger, and the German eng ‘narrow’, whose Old English cognate is no longer part of the language. The sense is the feeling of being narrowed in, not being able to take a full breath.

The two words have nothing to do with each other.

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