Single word for self-fulfilling prophecy


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Thread: Single word for self-fulfilling prophecy

  1. #1

    Single word for self-fulfilling prophecy

    One of the reasons English is a popular language (apart from being spread by conquest) is its adoption of words from many cultures. This allows nuances to be expressed more readily. In spite of this, the language still appears to need more words at times.

    Example: we had no single word to express the idea of taking pleasure at another's misfortune, so we stole Schadenfreude from Germany to the point where it's now regarded as English. We took smorgasbord from Sweden as well. We even grabbed 'bungalow' from India to express the idea of a single-storey house.

    What I seek, and cannot find, is a single word for 'self-fulfilling prophecy'. It's a sufficiently common concept to justify a single word, but I can't find one. I've even looked through some other language translations online for a word that could migrate into English, but find none. I suspect that such a word exists in the more reflective cultures, but I would not be able to read it anyway due to the differences in alphanumerics.

    I did toy with 'karma' but that's a different concept, though has some loose connection.


  2. #2
    I have no idea if there is one word that can cover the totality of what is implied by the expression. Closest comes the Pygmalion-effect, but that, too, is more than one word. And perhaps too obscure.
    Even in my own language(s) we use a compound expression.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Istine View Post
    Example: we had no single word to express the idea of taking pleasure at another's misfortune
    Yes, we do. "Capitalism." "Democracy" also works, considering how the last US presidential election went.

    Joking (well, half-joking) aside, I'd say that falls under the umbrella of sociopathy and sadism well enough.

  4. #4
    It might be worth plugging 'self-fulfilling' into an online thesaurus. There are enough alternatives that you might have a possible.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Foxee View Post
    It might be worth plugging 'self-fulfilling' into an online thesaurus. There are enough alternatives that you might have a possible.
    "Preordained" comes to mind as a possibility.

  6. #6
    Nor a word for self-defeating prophecies. I think we're lucky we have word phrases for these.
    My website (Hidden Content ) has good essays on starting a book and using metaphoricals.

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