The easy picks:

  • greed
  • avarice

They get the message across, but are too general. I want a word that narrows the meaning to only gold -- not just desire for wealth / material gain.

I tried a neologism: aurumphelia but google only turned up 7 results, leading me to conclude it's too much of a stretch; it requires too much mental acrobatics to make sense of it.

I could simply say "love of gold," but that would take away from the medical/psychology/academic/pompous tone of language I am going for. Though the word is to be used within a fictional setting, I want to maintain as much of an anchor to reality as possible (not just conjure up words willy nilly)

Intended sentence:

Doctor Sebastian has diagnosed these Dwarves as suffering from a severe case of _______________.


Are there any existing words for this task, and if not, how would one construct a more intuitive neologism?


11 Answers 11


I suggest auromania.

Auromania: an obsession with looking for gold.

Example: Many poor unemployed young men in Middle Eastern countries are afflicted with auromania.

[Macmillan dictionary]

In your example:

Doctor Sebastian has diagnosed these Dwarves as suffering from a severe case of auromania.

Edit: You could also say chrysomania as pointed out by Toothrot.
Chryso- is a combining form which means gold and mania means craze, madness, desire, obsession etc.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – tchrist
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 0:29

Two other answerers have posted it after a comment by user Decapitated Soul but I think the proper way to post someone else's comment as an answer is to make it a community wiki.

Gold fever:
gold fever (countable and uncountable, plural gold fevers)

(literally) A feverish obsession with seeking gold ore.



The correct answer is just

"gold bug"

as already given immediately in the first comment.

(Note that like many terms, it can be pejorative, or, perfectly neutral.)

Note - as suggested in comments

  • gold mania

  • gold fever

are highly-used terms.

  • 2
    A gold bug is a person. The OP wants an abstract noun. Adding -gery is probably a neolog, but seems an appropriate one.
    – alephzero
    Commented Aug 19, 2020 at 19:46
  • 9
    @alephzero I'm not sure adding "-gery" to "bug" necessarily conveys the only the meaning intended ...
    – abligh
    Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 6:35
  • Gold digger? How about Pirate? Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 16:25
  • 1
    @alephzero: A "gold bug" or "goldbug" can be a person, but there are also plenty of google hits (and some historical) for phrases like "[so-and-so] has caught the gold bug," treating it semantically like "the bug that's going around" rather than like an anthropomorphic "H. M. Woggle-Bug, T. E." Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 21:48

I suggest chrysophilia, which Wiktionary lists as meaning "The love of gold".

You were on the right track with aurumphilia, but there were a couple things to change. One is that "auri-" is the prefix form of the Latin word "aurum". The other is that there's some tendency to discourage mixing Latin prefixes with Greek suffixes, so you'd want the Greek prefix, "chryso-".

Notes: There were two points in the comments I want to address.

  1. Edwin Ashworth pointed out that you can mix Latin and Greek roots, like in television. That's right. I was being overly grouchy and pushing one of my pet peeves. There are a lot of very serious words that mix Latin and Greek.
  2. Toothrot pointed out a dictionary that lists chrysophilia as a sexual interest in gold and the color gold. It might be good to avoid this term if it has one definition that's so far from what you want. The suffix "-philia" often has a sexual connotation.

Dragon sickness.

Given that we're talking about dwarves, we could pull from the works of Tolkien and diagnose them with "dragon sickness" that afflicted certain dwarves in his works, as they became obsessed with gold and treasure, much like dragons do. This is an old mythological trope dating back to medieval Europe, with examples like the dwarf Fafnir physically transforming into a dragon as a result of his gold-lust.

"Gold-lust" or "gold lust" is another viable word/phrase to describe it, as well, which is less rooted in one particular author's work.


In English, we use the term 'gold fever' both literally for a gold rush and metaphorically in literature for a personal or social infatuation with gold.


Example: When the bank robber, who had planned to make away only with the contents of the registers to avoid the police, saw the vault filled with gold bullion, he was overcome with gold fever and dropped that he was carrying.

You could create a neologism, but this is rather well-recognized


I would say gold fever would be appropriate

  • You should add a reference to your answer.
    – user387258
    Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 11:05

One small comment to add - often in these situations we think of Midas who loved gold so much that, when he was granted a wish, he asked that everything he touched would turn to gold. He was very happy until he wanted to eat some food or drink some wine...

Doctor Sebastian has diagnosed these Dwarves as suffering from a severe case of Midas disease.

Midas disease is not really a well used term in English, but is the title of a song by DEMONS & WIZARDS.

This should not be confused with the 'Midas touch', which generally means that everything you work on (or 'touch') turns out well (or 'gold'). For example,

She really seems to have the Midas touch.


How about auriphilia or aurophilia?

From Wiktionary, the prefix aur-, which means gold, usually concatenates with -i-, hence my initial use of auri-.

Also from Wiktionary, -philia is used to form nouns meaning liking, love (for something).

Aurophilia is a related possibility. I found a number of links to it, e.g., related to artisans who produce fine works in gold and market them to those who love such works, aurophiliacs.


I am a supporter of the suggestion Auromania, but would like to offer some related suggestion as well:

auropathy Gold "sickness" - it would fit with a tendency of the medical profession to add "-pathy" or "-pathic" after anything to signify a sickness

auritis gold... "infection"

  • Can you give a linked, attributive supporting reference that this actually is a word? Suggested (D-I-Y) candidates are not suitable for the ELU template. Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 14:02
  • @EdwinAshworth No, I was aiming for the "Intuitive Neolog" - these are probably not words. I assumed pig-latin or gibberish was allowed given the question of how to construct a neology.
    – Stian
    Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 14:06
  • 1
    As nohat has said, ''While I'm not entirely opposed to “single word requests” I get pretty anxious when I see questions like [XXX], where ... people take this as an invitation to start coining words. I really don't feel comfortable at all with our site becoming a place where people go who want a word invented. While I delight in exciting new words being invented and promulgated, I think we will rapidly lose our reputation as a place where people can get authoritative answers if many answers are not authoritative but just merely inventive.' Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 14:09
  • @EdwinAshworth That is a noble enough stance, and at 57k rep I guess you have fought this particular battle before ;-) If you wish it deleted, just say so in a comment and I'll remove it myself. As an aside, I would probably have shuffled such questions into a neology tag - the coining of new words IS an important part of any living language - but this is perhaps not the right place for that discussion ;-)
    – Stian
    Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 14:17
  • 1
    -itis means inflammation, not infection. Etymologically it just means "of the" which is why it's used with organs and tissues (laryngitis, bursitis, meningitis, gingivitis, conjunctivitis...) Yes, I am fun at parties.
    – trent
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 16:44

neologism: Midamania - from Midas, with the S clipped or elided for euphony (or should that be euglossia, beneglossia, or proglossia? All neologisms for ease of speech.).

  • Neologisms are recognised new coinings, not unsupported punts. Oxford produce a book of them, confirming that they've been accepted into the lexicon. Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 13:17
  • A fatuous, pompous, illogical, crass, humourless reply! I can only hope your afterthought is one of regret.
    – jimalton
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 22:55
  • By the way, the Oxford you refer to is a single, third person entity so it should be "Oxford produces".
    – jimalton
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 23:11

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