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I'm trying to find the word that juxtaposes with novelty. Novelty is usually to describe things that are enjoyable because they are new. I'm looking for a term that describes things that are enjoyable and are NOT new.

For example, you see your partner everyday. You see them and it brings you joy every single time. The feeling is subtler than the quick happiness of novelty, but much deeper and intimate.

Here is an example sentence: I enjoy browsing Facebook for the novelty. I enjoy listening to my favorite song because of the [INSERT_WORD]

Here are the words I've considered and why they don't work:

  • Nostalgia: Very similar, except nostalgia has a negative connotation with the wistful desire. This is a tad bit different because it's not a wistful desire as much as it is a fulfilled happiness.
  • Homecoming: Emotionally similar but awkward
  • Hearth: Has the right vibe but not the right associations
  • Home: Same as hearth

The best word would be a noun that describes the feeling most accurately.

I would prefer a single word, but I suspect that there isn't a single word. I would accept a compound word or a new word.

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    Have you considered love? Apart from that, there's gratification (which can be regularly experience), happiness, fulfilment, etc.
    – Ricky
    Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 4:58
  • I don't think there is a single word. This would be one of those cases in English where you'll probably have to be happy with a phrase. "renewed joy" "enduring love" "never fails to make me happy" "brings me endless joy," or so on.
    – MarielS
    Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 5:53
  • "sense of home"- E.g. "I enjoy listening to my favorite song because of the sense of home it (engenders)/(stirs in my heart)" Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 11:19

6 Answers 6

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Something close to that could be contentment

Contentment is an emotional state of satisfaction that can be seen as a mental state, maybe drawn from being at ease in one's situation, body and mind.

The article on ataraxia might also give you some further ideas.

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I would think that one would feel warmhearted at the sight of the person oneloves. I think in a less formal register, cosy or comfy (comfortable) might cover your meaning, because they retain the connotation of intimacy with someone.

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I reckon satisfaction fits well enough. joy naturally accompanies satisfaction— A commonplace word for something that is often hard to come by.

If this answer sounds a trifle commonplace and you want a fancy word that captures this feeling (which comes when you hear that favourite song of yours), I suggest this beautiful word— je ne sais quoi

something (such as an appealing quality) that cannot be adequately described or expressed

a young actress who has a certain je ne sais quoi.

[Merriam-Webster]

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The nearest I can suggest is familiarity. The word is almost what you specify, although perhaps lacks strong enough overtones of contented love.

Familiarity = easy to recognize because previously experienced: familiar sights: a familiar face: I’m not familiar with current research in the field.

familiar adjective (INFORMAL)

informal or friendly, esp. more than is expected: Her familiar tone makes her writing more effective.

Cambridge dictionary

The same source gives us familiarity = a good knowledge of something, or the fact that you know it so well

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  • Hmm. A problem there is the association with the phrase, Familiarity breeds contempt Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 11:17
  • Perhaps, but Cambridge dictionary also gives us familiarity = a good knowledge of something, or the fact that you know it so well; this is a positive association. If we are to discount words on the basis of putative negative associations we will be in an unproductive quagmire of our own making. I have added this to my answer. Thank you.
    – Anton
    Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 11:42
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Your word might be flow.

In positive psychology, a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.
Flow (psychology) - Wikipedia

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If a suitable term can't readily be found, it might be appropriate to make one!

The Wikipedia entry for Nostalgia lists the etymology as a neologism c. 1688 combining the Greek roots "Nostos" (approx. "homecoming") and "Algos" ("sorrow" or "pain"), interpreted as homesickness or a wistful desire to return home or to an earlier time, etc. Based on this and the other options you considered, something like "Nostaria" might be suitable (Adj. Nostaric), keeping the root "Nostos" but replacing "Algos" with "Khará" (χαρά /xaˈɾa/) - "joy" or "delight", to be interpreted as the joy of returning home or to something familiar/satisfying/comforting.

Another approach for a neologism might be to look at "Novelty" directly, which stems from the Latin "Novus" by way of the French "Novel" ("New"). Using the French "Vieux" (/vjø/, "Old") as a base, an antonym for Novelty could be "Vierity". The adj. form could remain Vieux, or some suitable anglicization thereof, comparable to Novel. Vierity might not necessarily imply a positive connotation, but could emphasize something as being well-understood or deeply familiar.

Obviously, the utility of any new words would be limited unless/until they gain broader adoption, but words all have to start somewhere, right?

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